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Last Updated: Friday, 1 August, 2003, 07:50 GMT 08:50 UK
Liz Taylor sued by gardener
Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor plans to counter-sue
Veteran star Dame Elizabeth Taylor has been sued by her former landscape gardener for breach of contract and sex discrimination.

Willem Van Muyden filed a lawsuit against the actress in Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this week.

He is seeking unspecified damages for emotional distress for being fired without being paid the $294,000 (183,000) he claims he is owed for 10 years' work.

He is also seeking damages for allegedly being subjected to unwanted sexual advances by another employee.

Ms Taylor's lawyers said Mr Van Muyden's case was "a work of complete fiction". They added that the actress planned to counter-sue for malicious prosecution.

Mr Van Muyden was fired by the actress in September 2002. He accuses his former employer of sexual harassment, sexual orientation discrimination, wrongful dismissal and breach of oral contract.

The suit also alleges that Mr Van Muyden was not paid for work on a jungle-style garden because he was "not gay".

Mr Van Muyden's lawyer said the gardener had tried to resolve the outstanding payment through Ms Taylor's lawyers without success.

Ms Taylor's lawyer Thomas Hoberman said the action would be vigorously defended.

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