Hedge fund manager sues for £1m over ‘unrelenting’ homophobic abuse

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Paul Newton says colleagues joked about his sex life and ‘camp’ behaviour.

A gay asset manager is suing his former employer for over £1 million, after he claimed he was the victim of an “unrelenting” campaign of homophobic abuse.

Paul Newton says he lost his job at a top London hedge fund following two years of homophobic mockery and bullying, reports the Evening Standard.

Mr Newton claims staff at Balyasny Europe Asset Management consistently joked about his sex life and genitals, spreading false rumours about his promiscuity and treating him like a “curiosity”.

In addition, the experienced City boss “was constantly told that he looked like a woman and asked whether he dyed his hair”.

Colleagues regularly referred to him as “camp” and “effeminate”, made limp-wristed hand gestures and told him “normal” people would find it strange to see a gay man driving an Aston Martin.

He was fired on June 28 this year and says no initial reason was given.

The firm – which has offices across the world – later claimed it was due to poor performance in the aftermath of Brexit.

However, Mr Newton, claims some of his heterosexual peers lost more money but kept their jobs.

In a writ lodged with the Central London employment tribunal, he claims he was “subjected to unrelenting abuse based on his sexual orientation by his colleagues, within an environment suffused with homophobia”,

Mr Newton also says that he “was forced to work in an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for individuals with his sexual orientation”.

Balyasny Asset Management responded to their former employee’s accusations, saying they were “without merit”.

The firm says it looks forward to fighting the claims in court, insisting it is well known in the industry for having a “collaborative, collegial culture”.