Equinox Gym Ex-employee Claims Sexual Harassment in Suit

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday April 12, 2021

Equinox Gym Ex-employee Claims Sexual Harassment in Suit

A former Equinox Gym employee claims in a lawsuit that he was sexually harassed by a male superior and then fired when he complained, the New York Post reports.

The suit was filed by Harold De Longchamp, who had worked first as an assistant general manager and then been promoted to general manager at an Upper East Side location of the gym, the article said.

De Longchamp's suit alleges that a regional manager, Adam Gecht, made inappropriate comments to him, including telling him "on Jan. 29, 2019, that he could only get a free facial from work if he shaves his mustache because he looks 'like a child molester,' court papers claim."

The suit also alleges that "On May 9, 2019, at a work function in Florida when they were poolside in bathing suits, Gecht whispered in De Longchamp's ear 'nice bulge' — which other close-by managers heard, to De Longchamp's embarrassment," the Post article detailed.

The suit further alleges that "On the same trip, Gecht invited De Longchamp to breakfast, where he said he admired that De Longchamp was gay because he could 'be sexually promiscuous,' " unlike Gecht, who allegedly said that he "regretted being married with kids because he couldn't 'act on his urges like [De Longchamp] could, being gay,' " the Post article added.

The inappropriate comments allegedly included Gecht telling De Longchamp, "the closer we are with each other, the farther you'll get in the company," the Post report said.

The Post reports, "On two occasions, De Longchamp made complaints to the company's Human Resources department, the suit says."

The first complaint was brushed off, the suit claims, when "the HR director told him "that's just Adam, no one takes him seriously," the court papers allege," the Post article says.

When De Longchamps was promoted from assistant GM to GM, his "new boss told De Longchamp he was friends with Gecht and knew about De Longchamp's prior complaints, asking 'are we going to have any problems?' the court documents claim."

"Soon after, on Jan. 29, 2020, De Longchamp was fired," the article adds. The suit claims that the firing "was solely due to discrimination on the basis of his sex/gender (male) and sexual orientation (gay), and for complaining of said discrimination," the Post reports.

A representative of the company told the Post, ""We do not comment on pending litigation."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.