What to Know
A former Forever 21 employee told the I-Team she recently discovered that video of her using a staff restroom was posted on porn websites
An attorney representing her has filed a $2 million lawsuit alleging negligence and invasion of privacy
Forever 21 said in a statement it was not able to comment on the suit but had been investigating the matter
A former employee of the retailer Forever 21 is speaking out after discovering that secret video taken of her in a staff bathroom was posted on porn websites.
In an exclusive, tearful interview with the I-Team, the 27-year-old Long Island newlywed said she received a mystery text several months ago from an unknown number.
She said a stranger who called himself "Rob" told her that there was a video of her on a porn site.
"I told him there was no way this is possible," she said. "He then started sending me screen shots of the video. I could clearly see that it was my face and it was me going to the bathroom."
The woman, who now works as a medical professional, said she recognized the unisex staff bathroom at the Forever 21 store in the Providence Place Mall in Providence, Rhode Island. As a college student in 2011, she had worked part-time at the store for several months.
"I could just tell from the bathroom itself," she said. "I was wearing clothes that I would wear when I worked at Forever 21. And I was wearing my Forever 21 ID.”
She said the bathroom was strictly for employees and that customers were directed to facilities outside of the store in the mall's concourse.
The woman said she reported the violation of her privacy to the Providence Police Department. A police report revealed they went to the store but did not find a camera. The phone number for the man who tipped her off to the video also proved to be a dead end.
“Who knows how long the camera was there?” the victim said. “How many other women have been recorded?”
Long Island attorney Rocco Avallone has filed a $2 million lawsuit on behalf of the victim under the pseudonym “Jane Doe” in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The suit alleges negligence and invasion of privacy.
“They should have protected my client and did not,” Avallone said.
He added, "I’m sure my client is not the only one. If someone worked there at the same time, there’s a good chance they were videotaped too, and may not know it."
Avallone said the video has appeared on several porn websites.
In a statement to the I-Team, a representative for Forever 21 said it was unable to comment on ongoing litigation but that the company had been investigating.
"We have been actively investigating this matter, which has involved law enforcement, our legal team, and national investigation teams. We are committed to our employees and will continue to search out those responsible for this heinous act," the representative said.
The victim, meanwhile, said she is still terrified to use a public restroom.
"I always check around toilets," she said. "I check under sinks. I’ve gotten up on toilets and checked ceiling tiles."
She added, "It’s still hard. It’s hard for me to cope with and understand how and why it happened to me."