A judge Friday revoked the right of hologram producer Alkiviades “Alki” David to act as his own lawyer during trial of the fourth sexual harassment case being tried against him since April, prompting David to walk out of the courtroom and not return for the morning.
This case involves alleged harassment of former West Hollywood resident Mahim Khan. David, a resident of Beverly Hills who describes himself as a billionaire, was ordered in April to pay $11.1 million to Chasity Jones, another female employee who alleged that she fired for refusing to have sex with him. She later agreed to a reduction of that payment to $445,000 after L.A. Superior Court Judge Rafael Ongkeko found the amount of out-of-pocket damages awarded was excessive. Last month David was ordered to pay $4.35 million to former employee Lauren Reeves, who accused him of “shoving her head into his crotch.”
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Williams Court said she was taking the action because of David’s decision to record himself Thursday criticizing the trial proceedings in areas of the courthouse where he was unauthorized to do so, including hallways and just outside an elevator. David said he believed he was only barred from recording within the trial courtroom.
As the 51-year-old businessman left the courtroom, he accused lawyers for the plaintiff, 35-year-old Mahim Khan, of engaging in “crimes punishable by prison.”
When he reached the hallway, David further disparaged Khan’s lawyers while walking by trial jurors waiting to be called into the courtroom. One juror later told the judge that David “made sure” that they heard him.
Before leaving, David denied any wrongdoing regarding Khan.
“I have not sexually harassed this lady,” David said.
David said his boisterous conduct is justified because even though he is not a lawyer, he still has a right to defend himself in a manner he believes is most beneficial to him. He said he believes Khan’s lawyers are trying to extort money from him. He similarly clashed with two other judges in the three previous sexual harassment trials, despite being repeatedly fined and warned of further possible consequences.
Khan’s lawyers have denied David’s allegations and have repeatedly asked the judge to begin proceedings against the businessman that could result in a default judgment.
David’s departure left his personal defense in the trial uncertain. His companies, FilmOn TV, Hologram USA Inc., and Alki David Productions, will remain represented by lawyers Ellyn Garofalo and Amir Kiltgrad.
In her testimony, Khan told jurors she was hired in October 2014 by associates of David and quit about a year later. She said that he often walked up behind her unexpectedly and rubbed her breasts and private parts, prompting her to put a mirror on her desk so she could have some warning of his approach. She said that one time while working on a Ray Charles hologram, David performed a lap dance on her without her permission and twirled one hand in the air as if he was a buck rider at a rodeo.
Asked by her lead attorney, Nathan Goldberg, how she felt about the alleged inappropriate touching of her, Khan replied, “mortified.”
Khan said her negative work experiences caused her to become withdrawn and remain in bed in her pajamas for entire weekends at her West Hollywood apartment, ignoring texts and other contacts from friends. Her demeanor was in sharp contrast to how she lived her life before, she said.
“I’m pretty social and I love people,” Khan said.
The plaintiff, who said she is a strong believer in her Muslim precepts that include not having sex before marriage, said she felt tarnished sexually by David even though she never had any relations with him.
“I felt spoiled and dirty,” she said. “I didn’t feel good about my body or myself.”
Khan said she pondered suicide, but that a friend convinced her to abandon the idea.
David was behind the hologram technology that brought slain rapper Tupac Shakur to Coachella in 2012 and saw the late Michael Jackson moonwalk at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.