A New York City oral surgeon has been accused of sexual harassment by his chauffeur including attempting to force him to look at his penis while he stroked it as he was driven around.
Driver Christopher Jackson, 43, has filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court against 40-year-old Dr. Gabriel Hershman, an oral surgeon for the NYPD.
Jackson was hired as Dr. Hershman’s personal driver in April 2022 and would take him to and from his home in Queens to his office in Brooklyn along with various other routes including trips to his Jewish studies class and various coffee runs.
But just two months after taking on the role as Hershman’s driver, Jackson, who lives in Brooklyn, left his job with Hershman’s medical practice in June because of the alleged ongoing sexual harassment.
The lawsuit details disturbing instances of harassment, including Dr. Hershman repeatedly discussing the size of his own genitals, which he is alleged to have been obsessive about – mentioning it at least four times a week.
New York City oral surgeon, Dr. Gabriel Hershman, 40, pictured, is accused of sexual harassment against his chauffeur, Christopher Jackson, 43
Hershman ‘began talking about the small size of his penis’ which became ‘an obsessive topic of conversation as he said how he wished he could add inches to it,’ the suit claims.
In one conversation he allegedly expressed a desire to have himself increase in size.
Dr. Hershman also allegedly divulged personal information about his unsatisfactory sex life with his wife and made inappropriate jokes about Jackson’s sex life, including offensive comments about a motel they passed by.
It the filing he said it was the type of place ‘a fat n****r named Shanequa would come to your room and sit on your face … you know you want that.’
The dentist also allegedly asked Jackson to look at him while he engaged in explicit behavior, all while making suggestive sounds.
Hershman allegedly attempted to coerce Jackson into viewing various explicit actions while driving around while making sexually suggestive noises (file photo from his surgery)
When Jackson refused, Dr. Hershman insisted on eye contact through the rearview mirror while he ‘made moaning sounds, saying he was about to ejaculate.’
Jackson repeatedly asked for such conversations to stop, but Dr. Hershman persisted, eventually leading to Jackson’s resignation.
Jackson ‘would continually request that these conversations cease’, the suit states.
Jackson made clear his upset and distress at the situation to the New York Post.
‘There is not a human being that is trying to work hard to earn a living that should have been subjected to that type of treatment and I think it’s absolutely horrible,’ he said to the paper.
‘He didn’t care,’ Jackson said. ‘He has money and his father has money and he thinks that is something that’s going to save them from everything.’
He also highlighted the significant power imbalance, with Dr. Hershman’s financial means and social standing adding to the complexity of the situation.
‘He walks around like he’s a model citizen in his religious community, in the business community and also in the New York City Police Department as well,’ Jackson said.
‘I hope that he’s held accountable. I hope he doesn’t do that to anybody else.’
In an attempt to stop the harassment, Jackson took a recording of the misconduct and confronted Dr. Hershman. The doctor did not deny the allegations but instead apologized, claiming it was merely ‘locker room talk’.
‘Just because we are in the car, doesn’t mean we aren’t still in a working environment,’ Jackson said to Dr. Hershman. ‘I’m not going to allow myself to be subjected to this any longer,’ Jackson told him.
Jackson, who would be on call every day from 5am to 7pm to drive Dr. Hershman around in his Cadillac Escalade, stressed the importance of maintaining professionalism even in a car environment.
Jackson is now pursuing a lawsuit against Dr. Hershman, his father, and their medical practice, seeking unspecified damages for a hostile work environment and unpaid overtime wages.
Jackson’s lawyer, Jon Bell, emphasized that sexual harassment takes many forms and isn’t limited to specific genders or actions, while condemning Dr. Hershman’s actions as egregious.
‘Just talking in a very sexual way with one of your employee subordinates is a violation,’ Bell said. ‘Chris, rightfully so, felt very uncomfortable.’
‘All [Jackson] is doing is trying to support himself and his family during these tough times and the arrogance of this physician to turn around and treat Chris like that, not only with the blatant statements but to treat him unfairly with the amount of wages …it’s really an egregious case,’ Bell explained.
Dr. Hershman’s attorney, Jason Zoldessy, implied Jackson had mental health issues and made up the allegations after being told he was being fired.
‘When confronted with his termination, he fabricated this salacious narrative. Our clients intend to fight the claims aggressively,’ Zoldessy said.
Jackson’s lawyer, Bell, dismissed such claims as false and expressed readiness to address them in court.
‘We find it incredulous that Dr. Hershman, instead of taking responsibility for his atrocious conduct is now trying to spin the narrative that Mr. Jackson was somehow terminated,’ Bell said. ‘ We look forward to addressing this in court. ‘
As of now, Dr. Hershman has not commented on the allegations.