A tech boss who was sued for texting a female employee says he was just discussing a character from Austin Powers.
Sasha Sasheva was awarded £17,607.67 in compensation after a tribunal ruling decreed that Ala Uddin had been guilty of 'a nasty and serious abuse of power'.
In an attempt to overturn the tribunal's verdict, Uddin claimed that the text message he'd sent to Sasheva saying 'I vanna humpalot' was actually a reference to a movie character.
In Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Ivana Humpalot (Kristen Johnston) is a Russian agent hired by Dr Evil (Mike Myers) to kill Austin Powers (also Mike Myers).
Instead, she ends up in bed with the International Man of Mystery thanks to his irresistible mojo, which he loses in the middle of having sex with her after Dr Evil steals it.
Despite Uddin's protests that he was just trying to initiate a conversation about a side character from a 1999 movie to one of his employees via text message, the initial judgement of the tribunal will stand.
Sasheva started working as the only employee for Uddin's tech firm All Techmarket UK in 2020.
She said when they were in the office together her boss stared at her 'so much so it made her feel uncomfortable'.
The tribunal was told that in addition to texting her 'I vanna humpalot', Uddin also sent Sasheva a message saying 'Love... when are we going to f**k?' a month after she started working for him, MailOnline reports.
She said she got a text from him asking if she was home alone before spotting her boss 'hanging around her flat', she eventually resigned from the job.
Uddin claimed that Sasheva had propositioned him for sex on her first day of the job and tried to kiss him on her last day, but judges said his evidence of her advances onto him 'seems implausible'.
Employment judge Sarah Moor said Sasheva 'did not feel safe' around Uddin, who made her 'feel extremely uncomfortable, and nervous'.
Judge Moor said: "I have no doubt that by the time she resigned she was scared, extremely upset and angry.
"She had been forced to leave her job because of unlawful sexual harassment in the form of propositions from her boss and only other member of staff."
"The behaviour was nasty sexual harassment by Mr Uddin in the form of sexual propositions and standing outside home. It was an abuse of his power as her employer."
Featured Image Credit: New Line Cinema