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Business Traveler Sues Starwood Hotel Chain for Negligence
after Man Claiming to be her Husband is Given the Key
to her Room and Joins her in Bed

By Marc Beja, amNewYork, New YorkMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Jan. 09, 2012--A former New York investment banker is suing the Starwood Hotel chain, accusing it of negligence after she was allegedly sexually assaulted in one of their rooms.

Alison Fournier, 31, said that after going to sleep one night during a business trip last January in Helsinki, Finland, a sloshed American man whom she had rejected sexual advances from earlier in the night got into her room after getting the key from the front desk clerk. The unidentified intruder stripped down before jumping into her bed and fondling her, she said.

Fournier was able to escape, but when she reported the incident to hotel employees, "they told me it was my husband," Fournier said in a news conference with her attorney Glora Allred Monday.

She said she was forced to quit her job as vice president of Evercore Group because she was traumatized.

"I don't feel safe being alone and traveling," Fournier said, adding that she was required to travel several times each month for work. She also said she moved out of New York City to live with her family in Florida, saying, "I didn't feel safe alone in my own apartment."

"My life will never be the same," she added.

In a statement, the hotel said it was investigating Fournier's story. "We are taking this allegation seriously and are working with the hotel in question to understand the facts and any breach of security that may have contributed to this very unfortunate event," the hotel said in an email.

Fournier is suing for lost wages, distress, damages and attorney's fees.


(c)2012 amNewYork

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