Ms. Schmitt, a New York curator, started working at Artforum in 2009 when she was 21. Shortly after she took the job, the lawsuit contended, Mr. Landesman “singled her out for unwelcome sexual attention,” subjecting her to questions about her sex life while “touching her, uninvited, on her hips, shoulders, buttocks, hands and neck.”
Ms. Schmitt left Artforum in August 2012, but two weeks later, after she had started a new job in sales, Mr. Landesman sent her an email in which he praised “brown nosing” as a sales technique before veering off into a different — and sexually explicit — description of the practice, according to the suit. Not long after, Mr. Landesman invited Ms. Schmitt to tea and grabbed her by the shoulders, trying to kiss her, it stated.
Although Ms. Schmitt tried to cut off contact, Mr. Landesman continued sending sexually explicit notes, she contended.
In June 2016, Ms. Schmitt sent Mr. Landesman a text message saying: “You have been sexually harassing me since 2012 and continue to do so. I want it to stop.” Mr. Landesman wrote back promising “professionalism in the future,” according to the suit. Ms. Schmitt also met with two of Artforum’s other publishers, Ms. McConnell and Mr. Guarino, showing them some of the messages Mr. Landesman had sent. And on June 15, 2016, Mr. Guarino sent Ms. Schmitt an email promising “he was taking action to ensure that whatever may have transpired never happens again.”
According to the suit, however, Mr. Landesman continued sending messages, and Artforum stopped inviting Ms. Schmitt to its events. In her lawsuit, Ms. Schmitt brought a claim against the magazine for having breeched its promise, but Justice Nervo dismissed the claim.
Then in May 2017, the suit said, Mr. Landesman accosted Ms. Schmitt at a restaurant while she was eating with her romantic partner and an art critic. Sitting at the table uninvited, Mr. Landesman claimed that Ms. Schmitt had “unfairly accused” him of harassment and demanded she discuss it with him in front of her guests, the suit contended. Ms. Schmitt walked off, but then returned and “listed for Landesman his many acts of harassment.”