A young Swedish woman who sued her former Wall Street executive boss over lurid allegations of sexual conquest, betrayal, and stalking was awarded $18 million by a federal jury yesterday. Hanna Bouveng, 25, accused Benjamin Wey in an $850 million lawsuit of using his power as owner of New York Global Group to coerce her into four sexual encounters before firing her after discovering she had a boyfriend. The jury in federal court in Manhattan awarded her $2 million in compensatory damages, plus $16 million in punitive damages on sexual harassment, retaliation, and defamation claims; it rejected a claim of assault and battery. Bouveng, who was raised in Vetlanda, Sweden, testified that soon after Wey hired her, the CEO began a relentless quest to have sex with her.
She says he fired her six months later after she refused any more sexual contact and he found a man in her bed in the apartment he helped finance. Wey, 43, also sought to defame Bouveng by posting articles on his blog accusing her of being a "street walker," a "loose woman," and an extortionist, her lawyers say. For his part, the married Wey denied ever having sex with Bouveng. He portrayed her as an opportunist who bragged that her grandfather was the billionaire founder of an aluminum company when Wey first met her in the Hamptons in July 2013. Wey testified that Bouveng knew nothing about finance before he hired and began mentoring her. He claimed she betrayed his generosity by embracing a party-girl lifestyle that left her too exhausted to succeed. (Read more lawsuit stories.)