A wealthy Chilean couple accused of forcing their nanny into deplorable, slave-like conditions on Manhattan's Upper East Side are stuck on a permanent vacation in Italy after the U.S. refused to let them back into the country this fall.
Micky Hurley and Malu Custer Edwards, both designers, allegedly brought their nanny with them when they moved to the United States in 2011, promising her fair wages, healthcare and a place to live. But instead, 50-year-old Felicitas del Carmen Villanueva Garnica, says the couple enslaved her, paying her $2 an hour and allowing their children to physically abuse her.
Ms. Garnica, in her lawsuit, claimed the couple took her passport, locked her in the apartment, left her without decent food or her medication for hypertension and allowed the children to hit her. Once, she claimed, a child smashed a refrigerator door on her head.
The New York State Department of Labor eventually ordered the family to pay Garnica $6,302.54, the New York Times reports.
And it's just ghastly, the family claims.
"'Well, what's so bad about Italy?'" Edwards told the newspaper. "Well, just wait until you are anywhere in the world, and you think you'll be there a couple of weeks, and then be told you can't go back to where your life is."
But it gets worse:
Back home, "the children have their friends, their toys, their clothing," Ms. Edwards said. "You come on vacation with your summer clothes, and all of a sudden it's colder."