A high-flying Wall Street financier and his girlfriend are being sued by two nannies who are accusing the pair of racism.
Cordia Foster was hired by millionaire Ian K. Snow and his girlfriend Elyse Dula as a nanny for their four children in August 2017. Cislyn Wright was then hired a year later in September 2018.
The two Jamaican women lived with the couple at their home in Manhattan and at their summer rental in the Hamptons.
Snow – whose firm, co-founded with Gilded Age scion Ogden Phipps II, has $2.4 billion in assets – paid $2 million to rent the Bridgehampton home for three months in the summer of 2020.
But the two women claim that they were subjected to racial abuse in Manhattan and the Hamptons – referred to as ‘dirty Jamaicans’ and ‘black b******’, and accused of theft and trespassing.
Ian K. Snow, a Wall Street financier, is pictured at a Manhattan party in February 2016. He and his girlfriend Elyse Dula have been accused of racism by the former nannies for their four children
Snow in 2020 rented this mansion in Bridgehampton, paying $2 million for the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day – a new Hamptons record
Snow and Dula have vehemently denied using racial slurs, and accuse Foster and Wright in turn of threatening to ‘use black magic’ on the family.
They say the nannies were fired for a litany of complaints, including using their cell phones excessively and being ‘hostile’ to Dula.
Foster and Wright were fired in August 2020, and the following year sued for discrimination.
Court documents filed shortly before Christmas, at the District Court for the Southern District of New York, agreed the terms of the jury’s verdict sheet, and the trial is believed to be imminent.
Foster and Wright, in their complaint, claim that they were stereotyped from the beginning.
They were recruited via an exclusive and prestigious New York City-based agency, British American Household Staffing.
Snow and Dula are believed to live between Manhattan and a Long Island mansion previously owned by Rupert Murdoch.
Snow paid $9.1 million in 2011 for the 11-bedroom, early 20th-century Colonial mansion, which Murdoch asked presidential decorator Michael Smith to refashion.
The home is listed in court documents as Snow and Dula’s main residence.
‘For much of their employment with Defendants, Plaintiffs were stereotyped as nonthreatening, nurturing, large-framed black women who exist solely to serve,’ the pair allege.
They claim they noted differences in the way they were treated, compared to other members of staff.
‘Both Defendants often conspicuously treated Plaintiffs as if they were ‘invisible’ – for example, upon entering a room occupied by Foster or Wright and a non-black servant, Defendants would often greet, smile to, and talk with the nonblack worker while acting as if Foster or Wright did not exist.’
Foster and Wright claim in their suit that a personal assistant, Tamela Walsh, told them: ‘Elyse hates you Jamaicans.’
She further added, Foster and Wright allege: ‘Elyse [Dula] always tells me to spy on you guys’.
Snow is seen in the offices of Snow Phipps, which he co-founded with Ogden Phipps III
They say they shrugged off the perceived slights, and continued caring for the four children.
The situation escalated, they claim, in January 2020, when the family got a kitten named Scotty.
Snow is seen with his estranged wife Mary. They filed for divorce in 2018, and are still fighting through the courts
The kitten escaped, and Wright, running after with a broom, managed to corral the animal back into the house.
Wright claimed that Dula, on learning the kitten escaped, blamed the nannies, and exclaimed: ‘Those black b******!’
In May 2020, as work was nearing completion on servants’ quarters in the Hamptons house, Dula allegedly said: ‘I’m happy to be getting these dirty Jamaicans out of my house.’
The nannies claim that Dula forbid them from entering the pool house and guest quarters, and challenged them aggressively when they did. Dula, in her deposition, said the rules were clear that the space was reserved for their invited guests.
‘Since a dirty diaper had been found in a waste basket inside the pool house Ms. Dula had reason to believe that Ms. Foster or Ms. Wright had entered the pool house in contravention of her instructions,’ the court documents state.
‘Ms. Foster was not disciplined; Ms. Dula merely acted to reaffirm her clear instructions in this regard.’
Snow and Dula rented this Hamptons home in the summer of 2020, with the nannies in separate quarters
The Hamptons mansion has 11 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms spread over 17,000 square feet
The property includes tennis courts, a swimming pool, spa and jacuzzi, baseball field and basketball court
The nannies further allege that, after these tense encounters, their pay was cut in half, from $1,075 a day to $500 a day.
Snow, in his deposition, said he realized he was paying above the market rate.
‘Defendant Snow believed that he was paying substantially above-market for Plaintiffs’ services; their performance had become increasingly poor; and the nature of their responsibilities had changed at least six months before June 2020, as they no longer had to care for a new-born,’ the court documents state.
In the court documents, Snow and Dula complain about a Joker mask bought in 2018 for the children: the nannies say it is a frivolous complaint
‘As the children grew, Plaintiffs were not able to keep up with the children’s physical activities, requiring Defendants to hire others for such purposes.’
Dula and Snow fired the pair in August 2020, and insist that they were dismissed for a litany of misbehavior.
The couple accuse Foster and Wright of spending too long on their cell phones, ignoring the children, and bathing the children in excessively-hot water.
They add that the nannies bought the children a frightening Joker mask from the Batman film in 2018 and say the final straw was finding a wireless monitoring device in one of the children’s rooms.
‘When Ms. Dula confronted Ms. Foster with her shocking discovery, Ms. Foster refused to even respond,’ the court documents state.
Dula and Snow say that the children were disciplined by being put in a windowless room – but the nannies counter they were told to do so by the couple.
They strongly deny any racist attitudes or remarks.
‘Defendants strongly object to any assertion that their judgments and decisions were based upon negative racial stereotypes of Plaintiffs as African-Americans and/or Jamaicans,’ the court documents state.
‘Plaintiffs’ services were terminated, not because of the color of their skin, and not because of any purported ‘retaliation’, but because they had lost Defendants’ trust and faith, a necessary and non-negotiable component to Defendants’ willingness to allow any person, of any color or racial make-up, to care for their young children.’
Gerard Riso, representing Snow and Dula, told The New York Post: ‘The defendants deny all of the allegations and we will fight this vigorously.’
Scott Lucas, representing Bronx-based Wright and Foster, of Mount Vernon, is yet to reply to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Snow is currently in the midst of a divorce battle with his ex-wife, Mary. The pair filed for divorce in 2018.