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Suit Says Disney Fired Woman for Refusing to Help Cheat on Taxes; Firm Denies Charges

March 15, 2001|From Bloomberg News

Walt Disney Co. faces a lawsuit by a former employee who claims she was fired for refusing to help the No. 2 media company cheat on its taxes.

Judy Denenholz, who was senior vice president for worldwide anti-piracy at the company, claims she was fired in January 2000 after refusing to understate millions of dollars in legal fees in a reply to an Internal Revenue Service audit.

The allegations are "shameful and demonstrably untrue," said Patty Glaser, a lawyer for Disney at Christensen Miller Fink Jacobs Glaser Weil & Shapiro.

Denenholz, who worked at Disney for almost 20 years, seeks $20 million for violations of California's whistle-blower law. She also claims wrongful termination, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.

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