Mimi Morris, who starred on Netflix’s now-canceled show Bling Empire, is facing a string of allegations in a lawsuit filed by a former personal assistant.
In court documents obtained by The Ashley’s Reality Roundup, Taylor Lynn Patterson made several work-related allegations against Mimi, including claims that she was not paid for hours worked and wasn’t allowed to take meal or rest breaks.
Fans of Bling Empire met Mimi in Season 2, where she was cast alongside her businessman husband, Don Morris.
However, Mimi’s stint on the reality series was short, as she did not return for Season 3.
Taylor was not featured on the show alongside her, and based on the personal assistant’s reported time of employment, she may not have been working for Mimi while she was filming the show.
Season 2 of Bling Empire was greenlit in March 2021 and began filming in May of the same year, while Taylor claims she worked for Mimi from December 2021 until April 2022.
Mimi Morris’ former personal assistant files lawsuit
In the court documents filed in Orange County, California, last month, Taylor says she was employed by Acorn Engineering Group, the company run by Mimi’s husband Don, but claims that her job was actually to be Mimi’s personal assistant.
She went on to make several hard-hitting allegations about her time in the role.
“Defendants routinely required Plaintiff to work upwards of 49 to 60 or more hours per week, but only paid Plaintiff approximately between 40 and 43 hours per week,” the complaint states. “Plaintiff worked under Mimi’s direction six to seven days per week on a varied schedule. Plaintiff worked between eight and 14 hours per shift depending on Mimi’s needs performing various tasks at her homes…and sometimes other locations.”
Taylor claimed that she complained to human resources a minimum of five times about hours she reported not being paid. She also claimed that when Mimi found out about the HR complaints, she started reporting Taylor’s hours, forbidding her from doing it herself.
When Taylor continued to complain about the alleged unpaid labor, among other alleged labor code violations, she claims she was fired.
The complaint alleges that Taylor was paid below minimum wage for all the hours she worked and that she was not given overtime or double time even though she often worked 14-hour days.
She also alleged that she was made to use her own personal cell phone and car to conduct business and run errands for Mimi but was not compensated for that either.
In the filing, Taylor described Mimi’s treatment of her as “intentional, malicious, despicable, extreme and outrageous, without substantial justification, unprivileged, and was of the type and variety known to create severe emotional and mental distress.”
She has asked for a jury trial to make her case against Mimi and the other defendants named in the lawsuit. A hearing about the case is scheduled for September 29, while Mimi has yet to file an answer to the complaint.
Bling Empire canceled by Netflix
Despite creating quite a buzz with three seasons of the flagship show based in Los Angeles and even spawning a spinoff New York-based series, Netflix pulled the plug on Bling Empire in April 2023.
It’s not clear why the series ended, and Netflix has not commented on the reason for canceling the show just three months after the New York spinoff debuted.
Bling Empire was both celebrated and controversial amid a reality TV landscape that has been criticized for the lack of diversity in casting.
While the series helped add a dimension of diversity, there was harsh criticism for the way the series zeroed in on the richest of the rich, quite literally cashing in on the stereotype of wealth among Asian Americans.
In an op-ed for NBC News, Michelle Yang took aim at the trope, asking, “But why does our society continue to celebrate the privileged 1 percent that does not represent the vast majority of our human experience, let alone the Asian American experience, especially when our country is suffering through a pandemic and economic crisis?”