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Disney-jungle gardener sues Taylor for damages

Los Angeles, July 31 (Reuters): Actress Elizabeth Taylor is being sued by her former landscape gardener for breach of contract and sex discrimination in a bizarre case involving a butler and a Disneyland-like jungle at the star’s Bel Air mansion.

In a lawsuit filed on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Willem Van Muyden is seeking unspecified damages for being fired by the actress without being paid $294,000 he says are owed him for 10 years of gardening work.

He claims in the filing he was subjected to questionable sexual antics.

The damages he is seeking are for emotional distress, the lawsuit said.

Lawyers for the 71-year-old Taylor said yesterday the lawsuit was “a work of complete fiction” and added that the actress planned to counter-sue for malicious prosecution.

The lawsuit accuses Taylor of sexual harassment, sexual orientation discrimination, wrongful dismissal and breach of oral contract in the September 2002 firing of Van Muyden.

Van Muyden, who created a Disneyland jungle-style garden at the request of Taylor, claims he was fired because he rejected the sexual advances of the actress’ French butler.

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