the law

Kris Jenner’s Sexual-Harassment Lawsuit, Explained

Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Kris Jenner and her former bodyguard Marc McWilliams are expected to start hashing out the 2020 sexual-harassment case he filed against her in closed-door discussions. News of this development emerged Wednesday in a Daily Mail report, which revealed that the judge in McWilliams’s lawsuit told his lawyers to “expeditiously” start the arbitration process.

The case against Jenner has been quietly handled in the midst of other high-profile lawsuits and cases involving the family and their partners (the Astroworld lawsuits, the Tristan Thompson paternity suit, and Kim Kardashian’s alleged involvement in a crypto scam, to name a few). Here’s what we know about McWilliams’s civil claims so far.

McWilliams accused Jenner of groping.

McWilliams filed a Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against Jenner in September 2020, claiming that he was subjected to sexual harassment and racial and gender discrimination, as well as wrongful termination. In addition, McWilliams sued Kourtney Kardashian, whom he also claims to have provided security for, and the company that employed him, David Shield Security.

McWilliams provided more details on Jenner’s alleged sexual harassment in February 2021 — including a purported incident on October 22, 2017. While he was riding in the passenger seat of Jenner’s Bentley that morning, she “placed her right hand on the inside upper left thigh and groin area of the [McWilliams] in a manner that was overtly sexually offensive,” he said.

McWilliams claimed that Jenner “caused her right hand to move up the upper inner left thigh and groin area, while caressing the Plaintiff.” He was “shocked and offended” and tried to “shift away from her groping” — only to have Jenner’s right hand make “contact with [McWilliams’s] inner groin and genital area,” he claims. Michael Rhodes, lead counsel for Kris Jenner, denied McWilliams’s accusations, telling Vulture in an email: “We categorically deny Mr. McWilliams’ allegations and we look forward to proving that Ms. Jenner is completely innocent of these false claims.”

McWilliams said he was fired for complaining.

This is McWilliams’s “wrongful termination” allegation. McWilliams said that he started working for Jenner, Kardashian, and David Shield Security in February 2017. His lawsuit claims that he complained to his bosses at David Shield about Jenner in May 2017, around when the alleged harassment started.

Around September 2018, Jenner “began intentionally retaliating against [him]  for his complaints concerning unwanted sexual advances and other harassment,” namely by cutting his work hours and assignments, his lawsuit claims. McWilliams was told that he was “suspended” from shifts with Jenner, but that he would keep working with Kardashian. Ultimately, McWilliams claims, he was “wrongfully terminated” in September 2019 because of his harassment complaints.

McWilliams’s claims will be weighed in private, at least for now.

On August 31, 2021, McWilliams, Jenner, Kardashian, and David Shield Security “agreed to stipulate to proceed to final, confidential, and binding arbitration of all claims by Plaintiff for liability and damages against all Defendants.” It’s possible that if arbitration doesn’t work out, the case will wind up back in court, but that’s just the nature of these proceedings in general.

So what’s next?

The judge in McWilliams’s case, Armen Tamzarian, said during a January 6 proceeding that an arbitrator had yet to be appointed. Tamzarian said McWilliams’s lawyers had to “get an arbitration scheduled ASAP.” The judge scheduled a status conference for January 6, 2023. If arbitration does work out, court filings will indicate that McWilliams’s case is dismissed. However, the terms of the deal would remain under wraps.

Kris Jenner’s Sexual-Harassment Lawsuit, Explained