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Billionaire arms dealer, 56, is ordered to pay his ex-lover more than £120,000 after he sacked her when she refused to become his ‘sex slave’
- Edward Banayoti had a brief relationship with a woman before offering her a job
- Mr Banayoti, 56, sacked the woman when she refused to be his ‘sex slave’
- He was ordered by the court to pay £122,788.32 in compensation and interest
A billionaire arms dealer has been ordered to pay his ex-girlfriend more than £120,000 after sacking her when she refused to become his ‘sex slave’.
Edward Banayoti, 56, had a brief relationship with the woman two years before he emailed her ‘out of the blue’ to offer her the role of senior executive assistant – a job based in Washington DC.
The founder of Defence Unlimited International went on to tell the British woman he was still attracted to her, asked if he could sneak into her room and made jokes about making her pregnant.
The Canadian businessman is the former brother-in-law of King Abdullah II of Jordan thanks to a six-month-long marriage to his sister Princess Aisha bint Hussein.
The Central London Employment Tribunal sided with the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and found in her favour on claims of sexual harassment, direct discrimination based on sex, victimisation and breach of contract against the businessman and two of his companies.
Edward Banayoti (pictured), 56, had a brief relationship with the woman two years before he emailed her ‘out of the blue’ to offer her the role of senior executive assistant – a job based in Washington DC
Mr Banayoti was ordered to pay £122,788.32 in compensation and interest to the woman, with the payout including £33,000 for injuries to feelings with a further £8,000 aggravated damages and a 25 per cent overall uplift for failure to apply the ACAS code to try and work through the problems.
Mr Banayoti, who was born Ernest Anderson but changed his name when he converted to Islam, met the woman soon after his 2016 divorce from Princess Aisha, the tribunal was told.
Two years after their relationship ended she received an email from him ‘out of the blue’, she told the hearing. She claimed it was agreed she should go to the firm’s office in Malta instead of the US due to the wait for a visa.
Soon afterwards Mr Banayoti began to make suggestive remarks, the tribunal heard.
She told the tribunal: ‘I was very much taken aback* [and] told him I wanted to work in a professional footing. I told him I was not interested in these sexual advances.’
Four days later, the woman’s contract was terminated. In her witness statement, she said Mr Banayoti wanted her to be his ‘sex slave’.
She said: ‘I refused to reciprocate Edward’s sexual advances and desire for me to be his sexual object and this was the reason for the termination of my employment.’
Mr Banayoti’s solicitors provided images of him and the claimant kissing, but the tribunal heard they were taken during their brief relationship.
He also insisted the woman, a successful businesswoman with a PhD, was nothing but an ‘escort’.
The tribunal found Mr Banayoti conducted proceedings in an ‘unnecessarily offensive manner’, as he claimed he wanted to warn other men about ‘the claimant’s traps’.
Employment Judge Andrew Glennie struck out Mr Banayoti’s defence as ‘weak’ and denied arguments that claimed Mr Banayoti was unable to pay remedy.
Mr Banayoti asked for the ruling to be overturned but it was denied by an employment judge.
Mr Banayoti’s initial listing at Companies House in 2016 valued his business at around £1.5billon. His firm’s website says it provides guns, military aircraft and electronic systems to various governments.
The Central London Employment Tribunal (pictured) sided with the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and found in her favour on claims of sexual harassment, direct discrimination based on sex, victimisation and breach of contract against the businessman and two of his companies
Mr Glennie said in his ruling: ‘The claimant’s employment was short-lived, so this was not a case of discriminatory conduct continuing over a period of years.
‘There was, however, significant verbal harassment, the claimant was not paid during her employment and she was dismissed because she rejected [Mr Banayoti’s] advances.
‘In her fifth witness statement, the claimant stated that she felt belittled by and ashamed of her experience with the respondents and that she had lost confidence and felt less able to trust others.
‘She described herself as feeling crushed, devastated and homeless, and that at times she felt suicidal.
The Canadian businessman is the former brother-in-law of King Abdullah II of Jordan thanks to a six-month-long marriage to his sister Princess Aisha bint Hussein (pictured)
‘It was particularly upsetting for the claimant to be subjected to sexual advances from [Mr Banayoti] and, when she rejected them, to be dismissed – and dismissed at a time when she had committed herself to the job by giving up her private accommodation.’
The tribunal found Mr Banayoti had conducted proceedings in an ‘unnecessarily offensive manner’.
Mr Glennie said: ‘Some of the offensive conduct has been directly aimed at the claimant.
‘[Mr Banayoti] has repeatedly referred to the claimant’s apparent activities as an escort – most recently in his witness statement of 16 March 2021, headed as I have observed with the claimant’s name – without showing how these may be relevant to the issues to be decided.
‘He also said that he wanted to warn other men about what he described as “the claimant’s traps”.
‘There is also a wider sense in which the Respondents’ conduct of the litigation merits criticism and has added insult to injury.’
The judge concluded: ‘[Mr Banayoti] was, as an individual, responsible for all of the acts of discrimination.
‘He was also responsible for the conduct of the litigation. He should therefore be personally liable for these elements.’
The payout was made against Mr Banayoti as well as Defence International Limited (London) and Defence International Limited (Ottawa).
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