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An American woman has filed a USD 100 million lawsuit against Hilton Worldwide, alleging that an employee filmed her in the shower without her knowledge and later launched an extortion attempt over the footage.

The anonymous woman from Chicago is accusing the hotel chain of negligence.

The peculiar case was outlined by US newspaper and news site USA Today. The woman told US morning TV show “Good Morning America” the incident took place in July 2015 when she was staying at a property in New York but she wasn’t aware of the videotape’s existence until this September, when she received an email with a link to a porn site.

The alarming email was followed, she claimed, by another email from the same address demanding she provide more nude footage of herself – or the video taken in the shower would be published along with her name and job details.

The lawsuit quoted emails from the blackmailer. According to ABC News in the US, the suit claims the blackmailer wrote: “I’m a perv. I don’t hurt anyone. I like to watch. No need to worry about me. I just like to watch and then I move on to the next. Promise me my own show. That’s the hottest. No need to show your face. Then I disappear and remove the videos forever before they get copied on every website.”

The woman didn’t comply with the sleazy demand – and then, to her shock, the video was circulated to some of her colleagues, followed by a new demand: USD 2000 up front and USD 1000 a month for the following year.

The woman says she is horrified and traumatised. The filming allegedly took place at a Hampton Inn and Suites in Albany, New York.

Hilton told USA Today it knew nothing of the alleged breach of privacy until this week.

“On Monday, December 3rd, we were alerted by ABC News to details of an alleged incident at the Hampton Inn and Suites Albany-Downtown in 2015,” a Hilton statement said.

“We take the safety and well being of our guests incredibly seriously, and find the details included in the civil filing distressing. We commit to supporting the independent ownership and management of the property as they investigate, respond, and cooperate with any law enforcement investigations.”

Written by Peter Needham