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Citing "Mental Anguish," Christine O'Donnell Sought $6.9 Million in Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Against Conservative Group

...and falsely implied she was taking master's degree classes at Princeton.

11:50 AM, Sep 12, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Court documents obtained Saturday by THE WEEKLY STANDARD reveal surprising new details about the gender discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Christine O'Donnell in 2005 against her former employer, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a conservative non-profit based in Delaware.* O'Donnell, who is now challenging moderate congressman Mike Castle in the September 14 Delaware GOP Senate primary, sought $6.95 million in damages. In a court complaint, she extensively detailed the "mental anguish" she suffered after allegedly being demoted and fired because of her gender. And, although she didn't have a bachelor's degree until this year, O'Donnell implied she was taking master's degree classes at Princeton University in 2003.

Citing "Mental Anguish," Christine O'Donnell Sought .9 Million in Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Against Conservative Group

Christine O'Donnell

O'Donnell alleged in a July 1, 2005 complaint filed in district court that she had been demoted because ISI's conservative philosophy dictated that women must be subordinate to men. She claimed she was fired when she contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding her demotion. ISI told the Delaware News Journal that she had been "terminated for operating a for-profit business."

O'Donnell's finances, honesty, and stability have been called into question in light of her false and strange claims. The court complaint raises further questions on all fronts. O'Donnell, who made an annual salary of $65,000 at ISI as director of communications and public affairs, sought up to $6,952,477 million in damages, claiming, among other allegations, that ISI had defamed her and had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. O'Donnell sought:

--Up to $3,952,447 in "Direct Damages, including back pay" and "lifetime lost income and liftetime damage to reputation."

--Up to $500,000 "for emotional distress, humiliation, emotional pain, embarrassment, depression."

--Up to $3.5 million in punitive damages for "willful, legally-malicious and outrageous conduct" by ISI.

O'Donnell claimed that ISI had caused her to suffer "mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, mental and physical pain and anguish"--and that, according to an amended complaint, she had to "seek treatment for her distress."

According to O'Donnell's July 1, 2005 complaint submitted by herself:

Miss O’Donnell was and is profoundly humiliated by this demotion of being asked to perform clerical and administrative tasks, after appearing on national television as a media and public relations expert and spokeswoman, for a man who was hired straight out of college as ISI’s receptionist and clerical assistant, and whom she had been asked to train previously [emphasis in original]. [...]

For at least six months after being fired, Miss O’Donnell suffered enormous pain, cried frequently at the sense of personal loss and failure caused by ISI, and at the sense of injustice, and could not sleep at night, often wide-awake, replaying the whole scene in her mind, until 5:30 am, and has suffered from understandable and resulting depression.

"Miss O'Donnell's mother and sister both noticed and spontaneously told her at the time, prior to litigation, that she was differently [sic], and urged her to seek medical evaluation," according to the complaint.

An amended complaint, filed by a lawyer on behalf of O'Donnell in September 2005, claimed that O'Donnell did, in fact, "seek treatment for her distress."

"Ms. O’Donnell has suffered extreme emotional harm as a result of the actions taken or not taken by ISI, and statements made by and on behalf of ISI, in the form of grief, shame, humiliation, embarrassment, anger, chagrin, disappointment and worry. This harm has caused physical manifestations, and caused Ms. O’Donnell to seek treatment for her distress."

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