One of the more entertaining SNL skits ever was “The Ladies Man.” Tim Meadows portrayed “Leon Phelps,” a call-in show host with all the right (read: cheesy and/or sketchy) answers for your romantic queries.
And then it followed SNL tradition by becoming a really awful movie. Sigh.
But perhaps the tradition of Leon Phelps lived on in a Biglaw mailroom, where allegations have surfaced that a supervisor might have penned erotic poetry to woo an underling.
Let’s crack open a bottle of Courvoisier and check it out…
The New York papers are alleging that the mailroom of Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft was rife with misdirected woo (which, as Homer Simpson told us, is basically any John Woo movie these days):
Natalie Thorpe, 31, was employed by the outsourcing company Williams Lea and worked at the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft at 1 World Financial Center starting in 2009. When she rebuffed supervisor Tyrone Turner’s advances, including the poem that read, “I enjoy you so. Your thick legs and all of the voluptuous plumpness that accents your womanhood,” he turned aggressive, she charges.
In November 2010, he tried to kiss and hug her, locked her in his office and asked her to have sex with him on the vacant 35th floor. “Turner also told Thorpe in effect that depending on whether she agreed to go out with him, things could go well for her at work or not so well,” the Manhattan Supreme Court suit states.
Yikes. That sounds less like Leon Phelps and more like Pepé Le Pew. Hey, Cadwalader readers: be honest, how many of you used this “vacant 35th floor” for sex?
Enter the poem:
The poem “was laminated and decorated with a picture of a man kissing a woman who resembles Thorpe,” court papers say.
“The poem was explicitly sexual in nature and included the following: I love the way you giggle and the way your body jerks when I trace your tattoos with my tongue and rub you down with warm body oil.”
It concludes, “I’m at your erotic disposal,” according to the lawsuit.
The upshot of working the mailroom is easy access to a laminator. And you need to laminate your erotic poetry because… you know.
Thorpe is suing Williams Lea for failing to investigate her allegations and for keeping negative reviews from Turner in her file. They say the lawsuit is frivolous because that’s what everyone says at this stage of a case.
Meanwhile, Turner agrees that the suit is a sham, but admits that he wrote the poems and distributed them to his coworkers, but was not, specifically, talking about Thorpe when he wrote such gems as:
I have a sweet tooth for you because you sho nuf got goody-good candy.
It reminds one of Shakespeare’s classic, “A rose by any other name would have the same sweet, sweet tits, baby.”
Even if the poem was not directed at Thorpe — and that seems like a substantial “if” — handing out erotic poems to subordinates probably constitutes a hostile work environment by itself. Or it would have before Vance and Nassar. Luckily for Thorpe, New York has its own discrimination laws outside Justice Alito’s purview.
Turner has gone one step beyond laminating his work and has bound it… at least digitally. His collections For the Love of Women of Color (affiliate link) and “The Morning After” include some of the best work of the self-described “Iron Chef of poetry.”
On his Twitter page, wallpapered with bars of gold, Turner describes himself as “an aspiring Renaissance Man . . . a business teacher, a poet, a martial artist,” and links to his 17-part haiku about “how to use the scientific method to figure things out.”
Okay, that is very Leon Phelps. And on that note, I’m pretty sure this is also one of Turner’s poems…
Law firm supervisor accused of writing an illustrated erotic poem to his married co-worker: lawsuit [New York Post]
In lawsuit, woman claims former supervisor at Manhattan law firm subjected her to creepy and perverted poems [New York Daily News]