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Single Mom Fired For Being 'Too Hot' Speaks

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momlogic's Vivian: If you haven't heard of "hot banker" Debrahlee Lorenzana yet, you will. Her "hotness" -- and her harrowing tale of sexual discrimination during her tenure at Citibank -- has been plastered all over New York newsstands since last week, and her story is poised to go national. (Among other things, Debrahlee alleges that Citibank execs told her that her pencil skirts and turtlenecks were "distracting" to male employees.)

Debrahlee Lorenzana

Since Debrahlee's a mom like us (her son is 11), we were fortunate enough to get her on the horn this weekend to discuss her trials and travails.

momlogic: What were you thinking during your period of harassment Citibank?

Debrahlee Lorenzana: Honestly, when everything was going on, I not only was in shock, I didn't want to come to work any longer. There were numerous times I called my boyfriend crying because of the things that were going on. I came in with such high expectations to work for this corporation, and it was so unfair that I was feeling attacked for any little reason and wasn't doing the job I came to do. I'd go home to my son and didn't want to show him how upset I was, so I had no one to talk to. He'd come over to me after work and I'd say to him, "Mommy needs some alone-time tonight. Is it OK?" And he'd say, "Mommy, are you OK? Do you want me to make you a peanut butter and jelly?" And I'd say, "It's OK, honey; Mommy just needs some time" -- and he'd just go to his room. I was so sad, because I couldn't be home with him during the day and when all this was going on, but I needed to relieve myself of the emotions I didn't want him to see.

ml: As a result of all you've been through, I'm sure this has made you all the more determined to raise your son to be respectful of women!

DL: All my life, I've been dealing with sexual harassment and discrimination in many different ways. It comes to a point where enough is enough. You just want to come to work happy, do your job and go home and be happy with your child. I talk to my son like he's an adult, and explain how he needs to treat women when he grows up. The same way he wants Mommy to be happy -- that's the same way he needs to treat women when he grows up. I always say he's going to be a gentleman like my grandfather, like when men used to court women. In this day and age, men are back into the cave ages. They want to grab you and drag you. There's not that respect towards women anymore. They just shout at you from the street, and when you ignore them, they challenge you using nasty words.

ml: What do you hope will come from all this -- aside from winning your lawsuit?

DL: I hope to teach [Citibank] a lesson and basically help all those single mothers out there who have been harassed. Because you're single and there's only one family income, sometimes you have to put up with all types of discrimination and harassment at work. And we just stay quiet because at the end of the day, we need to feed our children. It's so hard for us. Sometimes we overlook and let things pass that aren't right, and I just want to tell the single moms to get up and stand up! At the end of the day, we have to deal with so much -- the day-to-day issues with work and at home; being two parents at once. It's really hard. Just because we're single moms doesn't mean we have to look to the side and ignore things like this.

next: Did the MTV Movie Awards Have to Drop the F-Bomb So Much?
56 comments so far | Post a comment now
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Single Mom in NY October 28, 2010, 7:25 AM

Love the story it is so hard being single parent people men or female ten to look at us diff. women I have came encounter think I can not take care of my son because I am single I had one his teachers tell me to call my dad and ask for advice when I got a call that my son was making farting sounds with his arm pits at lunch table. The school even went as far as calling my dad to come pick up my son from school because he got in trouble. They never called me. My dad called and told me he picked up my son. I also had to take parenting classes for my son to get in a private school because they though I may be lacking skills being that I came from a one parent household. Men around me look at me like a piece of meat and say nice things about my clothes but not my work. If my work was not all that good than why did you steal it Jeff? A man stole my work and tried to get credit for I left company. It is hard for us but what dont kill you will only make you strong,

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donnie January 12, 2011, 11:06 AM

She obviously dresses seductive and gets just the reactions she is looking for. Plus, she ain’t all that! Get over yourself hon. Buck up, dress professional appropriate and perhaps you won’t be sexually harassed. That means not showing ample cleavage and thigh when you wear your too short tight skirts & tops. Horses$#t!
Phallleeeze! You know what they say: walks like a s*#t, talks like a s*#t, smells like a s*#l….it’s a s*#t!

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