My life turned upside down: Fraser-Kirk

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The woman suing David Jones and its former chief executive for more than $37 million over sex harassment claims says her life has been turned upside down.

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Kristy Anne Fraser-Kirk told a news conference in Sydney on Monday that she just wanted to be treated with respect.

“I’m a young woman standing here today simply because I said it wasn’t okay, because I said that this should never happen to me, or to anyone,” the 25-year-old said.

Earlier on Monday, her statement of claim was filed in the Federal Court, where she is suing the department store, nine directors and former chief executive Mark McInnes, who resigned on June 18.

She says Mr McInnes made unwelcome sexual advances and comments to her at a May 23, 2010 lunch and at a function on June 7, 2010.

She is claiming punitive damages of about $37 million, being five per cent of Mr McInnes’ salary and five per cent of the store’s profits during the time Mr McInnes worked there.

If successful in her claim, she wants the money to go a charity, nominated by her, helping people in the area of sexual harassment and bullying.

“This has been a devastating period in my life, for me personally, in my professional career and for the effect this is having on my family and friends,” Ms Fraser-Kirk told reporters.

“I had high hopes for my career at David Jones and I believed I could have gone far if my career had been able to continue. “By speaking out I have been forced to walk away from a career that I gave my all to, an industry that I respect and a company that I believed in.

“Put simply, my whole life has now been turned upside down.” In her statement of claim, Ms Fraser-Kirk says the company took no action to address the inappropriate behaviour by Mr McInnes.

In a statement, David Jones said both the company and its directors would defend the claims vigorously.