Too Sexy for this Suit Part II: Human Rights Division | NBC New York

Too Sexy for this Suit Part II: Human Rights Division



    (Published Monday, June 28, 2010)

    The "too-hot-for-banking" woman who says she was fired from a job after complaining that male colleagues called her curvaceous figure distracting is asking New York human rights officials to investigate.

    Debrahlee Lorenzana filed a complaint against Citibank on Monday with the state Division of Human Rights. She has hired high-profile feminist attorney Gloria Allred to represent her.

    She says she was a victim of sex discrimination and then retaliation for speaking up.

    "When I first got my position at Citibank, I was excited, I was happy -- I had such high expectation, but when the sex discrimination started, I felt down and disappointed," said Lorenzana, who began crying as she read her statement. "I felt that i was not given a fair chance to succeed and that I was not properly trained like most business bankers when they first start. I couldn't understand why.

    "All I knew is that it didn't matter what I did, I was a target to them. There were days I didn't want to go to work. Many times I had to step out of the office to cry at the unfairness of what was going on."

    Asked about recent revelations that Lorenzana had plastic surgery while appearing on a cheeky Discovery Channel reality series, Allred said:

    "Any person has a right to have cosmetic surgery, she did this for her own self esteem after the birth of her child, she has nothing to apologize for, she's beautiful, and really that should have nothing to do with her ability to do her job."

    Citibank spokeswoman Nita Riper said Lorenzana was fired for poor job performance, not her appearance.

    “Unlike Ms. Lorenzana, Citibank does not intend to try this case in the media and we reiterate that her termination was based on poor performance," said Riper in a statement. "Although we can't speak to her previous attention-seeking activities, her current attempts to gain personal publicity are as transparent as her legal claims."

    Riper said the bank was confident the cases would be thrown out.

    The 33-year-old Lorenzana also has sued Citibank in civil court. It's part of banking giant Citigroup Inc.

    Lorenzana says she is taking action for herself and to make sure other women do not suffer from discrimination.