The Source, Dave Mays, Benzino Ordered To Pay Former EIC $14.5 Million

AllHipHop Staff

The Source Magazine,

Dave Mays and Ray "Benzino" Scott must pay $14.5 million dollars to

former editor-in-chief Kim Osorio, after a federal jury in New York found she

was fired in retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment and

gender discrimination on the job. Osorio

claims she was subjected to verbal abuse and threats of physical violence while

working at The Source Magazine. Osorio

complained that her leadership was undermined and her complaints of harassment

were ignored by Source executives, who terminated her upon her refusal to repeal

her allegations.The

lawsuit followed her February 2005 dismissal from the self-proclaimed "Hip-Hop

Bible." After

nine days of testimony, jurors spent four hours deliberating before delivering

the verdict yesterday (Oct. 23). In

addition to the sexual harassment/discrimination charges, jurors found Scott guilty

of defaming Osorio in a radio interview."I

feel like I've been vindicated," Osorio told the New York Daily News.

"Whether it's Hip-Hop, rock 'n' roll or the post office, there's still

laws a company needs to abide by."Claims

that Osorio was pressured to take a trip to Atlantic City by Scott were presented

to jurors by her attorneys, who also painted a picture of a workplace filled with

lewd pictures of women, marijuana smoke and obscene language. Contrary

to Osorio's accusations, Mays, Scott and witnesses testified that missed deadlines,

trysts with various rappers and poor working relationship with the Source's staff

ultimately led to her dismissal. Lawyers

also accused Osorio of using her claims as leverage towards either protecting

her job or force a financial settlement.Jurors

sided with Osorio's lawyer Kenneth Thompson, who hailed the ruling as a victory

for women in the workplace. "This

verdict shows that all women must be treated with dignity and respect, no matter

what industry they work in," said Osorio's lawyer, Kenneth Thompson.Michelle

Joyce, The Source's former vice president of marketing, also testified during

the trial on behalf of Osorio. She filed a sexual complaint that was ultimately

dismissed on legal ground. Joyce

is currently appealing the decision.