French Designer Bugged Employee
Mar. 17, 2000
PARIS (AP) _ A French court on Friday handed down a $17,800 fine to fashion designer Michele Azzaro for invasion of privacy after listening devices were discovered in the office of her former press secretary.
Olivia Couturier filed a complaint after discovering a microphone hidden in a baseboard of her office at the fashion house, where Azzaro lived, in 1997.
Azzaro also received a four-month suspended sentence.
Azzaro claimed the microphone was a security device to survey the office.
``There wasn't anything to survey in my office besides myself,'' Couturier told the court.
Other employees also testified they had been placed under surveillance, but had not filed complaints.
During a January 1998 search, police found so many interlacing wires, microphones and cameras in the fashion house that one expert told the court the designer had risked electrocuting herself.