Netanyahu defends wife as maid sues
Published 18/01/2010 | 05:00
SHE may be a domestic goddess at home but Israel's first lady of politics' so-called obsession with cleanliness has landed her at the centre of a political storm.
Last night, aides to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed as "lies and slander" an employment lawsuit filed by a former maid against Sara Netanyahu. A Tel Aviv labour court confirmed that a woman who had worked for Mrs Netanyahu filed the suit last week.
Citing court documents, Israeli newspaper 'Yedioth' said Lillian Peretz sought compensation for underpayment from Mrs Netanyahu. She also alleged she had "humiliated" her, occasionally shouting and insisting she change clothes during the working day to meet exacting demands for hygiene.
An official in the prime minister's bureau read a statement saying the suit was laden with "lies and slander".
"In total contrast to what is written in the lawsuit, the plaintiff Lillian received warm and affectionate treatment from Mrs Netanyahu," it added.
David Shimron, an attorney for Mrs Netanyahu, says the complaints "bear not a single element of truth".
The new furore has stirred up memories of past controversies over domestic staff during Mr Netanyahu's first term in office in the 1990s.
Mr Netanyahu defended his wife during a cascade of media stories alleging she was high-handed with staff and set unusually strict rules on cleanliness around the home.