Sara Tirschwell says she feels used, and is willing to fight back—to the tune of at least $30 million. The investor worked at a powerful Wall Street asset management firm called TCW Group Inc, where she claims her boss pressured her into sex and abandoned her to the wolves when she stopped sleeping with him, the New York Times reports. Adding complexity is that said boss, Jess Ravich, was also her ex-boyfriend. "He had the power to make or break my professional trajectory," says the 53-year-old. "If he didn’t have that power, I would not have had sex with him. That's my shame. My shame is that I played his game." After more than a year at TCW, she filed a sex-harassment claim in 2017 and got fired nine days later amid accusations she had violated company policies.
Smelling retaliation, Tirschwell soon filed suit for $30 million or more against Ravich, CEO David Lippman, and TCW. But when interviewed, her memory of what happened when is hazy, and Ravich's lawyers say TCW work calendars contradict most of her claims. She was also fired while falling short of an ambitious $100 million target on a distressed debt fund for TCW and seeking a $2 million severance package (the company offered $500,000). Yet text messages show Ravich and Tirschwell appeared intimate—after giving her New York Rangers tickets he texted, "And what do i get :)"—and Ravich later lost a company board position over their "unprofessional" exchanges, per Bloomberg. Still, he denies having sex with her. And unless they settle, this is a rare #MeToo case that's actually headed to court. (Read more #MeToo stories.)