Butler Who Sued Ex-Boss Over Alleged AIDS Discrimination Dies
NEW YORK (AP) _ Jose ″Tony″ Deleu, a butler who claimed he was fired by a Manhattan socialite because he had AIDS, has died. He was 47.
Deleu died Friday at New York Hospital and a funeral was held Monday.
Hours before his death, Deleu said he forgave his employer, saying: ″I don’t have any hard feelings. I feel very bad about all this,″ according to Deleu’s brother, Carlos.
Deleu had filed a $1.5 million discrimination lawsuit against France Scaife, wife of an heir to the Mellon family fortune and a committeewoman on the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force.
Deleu’s attorney, David Spears, said the discrimination claim was recently dropped because of a loophole in the state anti-discrimination law that exempts domestics.
Spears said he planned to continue fighting Deleu’s lawsuit on charges that Mrs. Scaife owed him overtime pay and Social Security and health insurance benefits.
Deleu worked as Mrs. Scaife’s butler at her Upper East Side apartment for seven years.
Mrs. Scaife’s lawyer, Bruce Kaplan, said his client, ″grieves for him and his loved ones.″