Sherri Shepherd is facing more legal drama.
The View co-host is now being sued for slander by a woman she accused of “racial profiling” earlier this year, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
A lawsuit was filed against Shepherd on Wednesday, July 18 by Janice Reyes, the former Staples employee who was reportedly fired from her cashier job just days after Shepherd publicly claimed she and a friend were racially discriminated against while attempting to use the restroom facilities in a Los Angeles store location.
On Feb. 1, Shepherd shared her story on Instagram, claiming that she and a friend were shopping and asked to use the Staples restroom, but were told they were unavailable and to go to a nearby store instead as the facilities were being cleaned. Upon discovering that they were not dirty and were open for use, Shepherd then accused Reyes of “racial profiling,” adding that she used foul language during the course of the confrontation.
“Just got cursed out by a cashier @staples at 4641 Santa Monica Blvd in LA. My girlfriend @kimrtavares & I were there to get supplies for a seminar when Kim asked where was their restroom & we were told they were broken and we needed t go to @riteaid – Kim walked over to #RiteAid but their bathroom was in use so she came back to #Staples. Another employee gave us the combination to their #bathroom which worked fine. When questions The manager (Edgar) said the cashier Janice Reyes May have said it bc the bathrooms needed to be cleaned,” Shepherd wrote on Instagram.
“They were clean and working bc I used it. When I questioned Miss Reyes on why she said that at first she wouldn’t answer and then said ‘we are told to tell people if they don’t buy they can’t use our bathroom’ when I said well we were customers – you should have stated your policy instead of lying, Ms Reyes starts screaming ‘I am not going to take this s—. I am not going to take this f—— s—!’ And she storms off but not before it got heated w Kim,” she continued.
“#Staples this treatment by an employee is unacceptable. It was embarrassing – and had I had my son Jeffrey w me it would’ve been a different situation. Your employees are participating in racial profiling. I will take my business to @amazon or @OfficeDepot where customer service is better,” she continued. “Miss Reyes May be going through personal issues but if she is, then she should be doing something else at Staples rather than dealing with customers. And the fact that none of the employees did anything? It should be on their cameras.”
Shepherd shared her story on several social media sites, including Twitter, where Staples then publicly responded to request further information about the incident. “Oh no! That’s not good. Did you see someone go into them or how did you gather that they weren’t broken? Which store was this?” Staples US tweeted.
Shepherd replied with more specifics, including the news that she was given a bathroom code by another employee and thus believed they weren’t broken, as Reyes had initially claimed.
According to the complaint, the three did engage in shouting at the register, but Reyes claims to have been on the receiving end of Shepherd and her associate’s aggressions and maintains that camera footage of the encounter confirms as much.
Reyes claims in the documents that the company’s corporate executives got involved in the matter shortly after Shepherd’s social media posts went live and began to investigate the exchange. She was allegedly fired by the company on Feb. 6, five days after the incident occurred.
Before listing Shepherd as a defendant, Reyes first filed suit for slander and invasion of privacy against CBS Television for airing coverage of Shepherd’s story on Inside Edition and local network affiliates, as well as The Wendy Williams Show and BET, which also covered Shepherd’s allegations. Reyes claims the networks failed to retract their stories, even after she contacted them.
She is seeking compensatory damages for lost wages and emotional distress as well as punitive damages.
Shepherd had no comment and the networks did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
TMZ first reported the news.
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