Megan Thee Stallion accused of harassment by cameraman who said he was forced to watch her have sex

LOS ANGELES — A former cameraman for Megan Thee Stallion who alleges that he was trapped inside a moving vehicle with the hip-hop star in a foreign country while she had sex with a woman has filed a lawsuit accusing the entertainer of harassment and a hostile work environment.

Emilio Garcia said in the suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court that after the alleged incident he was warned, “don’t ever discuss what you saw,” and berated, fat-shamed and treated differently by Megan.

The “harassment was so severe or pervasive” that it created a “hostile, abusive work environment” that made Garcia’s “working conditions intolerable,” the suit said.

Megan Thee Stallion during the Outside Lands Music Festival, in San Francsico, on Aug. 13, 2023. Daniel DeSlover / Sipa USA via AP file

“This is an employment claim for money — with no sexual harassment claim filed and with salacious accusations to attempt to embarrass her. We will deal with this in court,” an attorney for Megan Thee Stallion, Alex Spiro, said Tuesday.

Representatives for Roc Nation did not respond to requests for comment.

Garcia began working for Megan Thee Stallion, whose real name is Megan Pete, as a personal cameraman in 2018, quit his job in 2019 to pursue the gig with the Grammy winner full time and worked for her until June 2023, the lawsuit stated.

Photographer Emilio Garcia with Megan Thee Stallion. Courtesy Emilio Garcia

Garcia said in the lawsuit that he traveled with Megan to Ibiza, Spain, in June 2022 and that while in an SUV with Megan and three other women after a night out, Megan and one of the women began to have sex next to him in the moving car.

“I felt uncomfortable. I was kind of frozen, and I was shocked. At kind of just be the overall audacity to do this right, right beside me,” Garcia told NBC News in an interview.

The following day, the rapper asked Garcia whether he was in the car with them the night before, and when he confirmed he was, Megan told him: “Don’t ever discuss what you saw,” the suit states.

Garcia’s said in his suit that during the same trip, Megan hurled fat-shaming insults at him, calling him a “fat bitch” and telling him to “spit your food out” and “you don’t need to be eating.”

“To hear someone who advocates about loving your body tell me these things,” Garcia said in the interview, “I felt degraded.”

When they returned from the trip, Garcia said in the lawsuit, his compensation structure was changed from a monthly flat-rate to a pay-per-task system that required him to submit invoices for each assignment.

He said he was expected to provide the same services despite the pay structure change, but alleges that he was treated differently following the Ibiza trip and saw a decrease in bookings Megan hired him to do.

Photographer Emilio Garcia with Megan Thee Stallion. Courtesy Emilio Garcia

Garcia began to consider quitting the job because of Megan’s “possessiveness combined with a lack of appropriate pay for the amount of time asked of him” and a lack of bookings, the suit states.

Garcia remained on the schedule for a June 2023 job, but the night before, Roc Nation notified him that “his services would no longer be required” by Megan, according to the lawsuit.

While working for Megan, Garcia “endured a barrage of relentless sexual and fat-shaming comments plunging him into profound emotional distress,” the suit said.

“What I learned throughout the years is that, especially coming from an from an office environment, is you know, there’s no HR department in the entertainment business,” Garcia told NBC News in an interview. “So if you don’t know that you’re being done wrong, you don’t really know how to advocate for yourself until you start asking maybe you start asking your peers who have representation, they have agents, they have management, they have attorney. So I just really just want to encourage people to advocate for themselves.”

The alleged behavior caused Garcia to face a loss in earnings and other employment benefits, as well as physical injuries, physical sickness and emotional distress, according to the lawsuit.

The suit states that while working for the entertainer, he was without basic insurance coverage and therefore could not get the care he needed. Now, he “grapples with mounting anxiety, depression, and physical distress stemming from the toxic work environment,” according to the suit.

Emilio Garcia with Megan Thee Stallion. Courtesy Emilio Garcia

“Megan just needs to pay our client what he’s due, own up to her behavior and quit this sort of sexual harassment and fat shaming conduct,” Ron Zambrano, an attorney for Garcia, said in a statement to NBC News. “Emilio should never have been put in a position of having to be in the vehicle with her while she had sex with another woman. ‘Inappropriate’ is putting it lightly. Exposing this behavior to employees is definitely illegal.”

Garcia’s lawsuit also outlines alleged employment and wage violations that center on his classification as an independent contractor.

The lawsuit alleges that Megan prohibited him from working for anyone else and was denied overtime pay and breaks.

His misclassification as an independent contractor “left him without basic insurance coverage, depriving him of essential health care,” the suit said.

Garcia told NBC News in an interview that he is seeking more than six figures. The suit seeks unpaid wages, as well as interest on the unpaid wages, unpaid overtime wages and other employee benefits at the legal rate. He is also seeking statutory penalties and wage penalties pursuant to California labor laws, punitive damages according to proof and costs he incurred, including attorneys’ fees.

Diana Dasrath reported from Los Angeles and Rebecca Cohen reported from New York.

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