So say three former bodyguards who are suing the Queen of Nice for allegedly spying on them while they were employed in her multimillion-dollar Miami digs.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, was brought by Chris Delia, Ted Van Rijn and Steven Rubino, who accuse the TV star of illegally taping them on the job.
Fort Lauderdale-based attorney Russell S. Adler, representing the bodyguards, says the men discovered both a video- and audio-recording device masked as a smoke detector while they were working out of a makeshift office in the laundry room of her Star Island mansion.
The trio alerted Adler about the surveillance equipment and he then sent a letter to O'Donnell's Miami lawyer giving the talk-show queen "two weeks to get the situation resolved." According to Adler, however, all did not go as planned.
"The men [were] fired," Adler tells the Miami Herald.
Noting that Florida law prohibits bugging people without their consent, Adler says his clients never at any time abused Rosie's trust.
"These were licensed, experienced investigators. These were not dummies," Adler tells the newspaper. He also notes that "[wiretapping] is a felony."
Rosie's spokeswoman, Jennifer Glasek, denies the charges and refers to a signed affidavit given by O'Donnell to the trio claiming she didn't know about the recordings. The affidavit also asserts the eavesdropping devices were installed by an employee of Kroll Associates Inc., a foreign security firm hired by O'Donnell, without the knowledge of O'Donnell.
"It's a legal matter that will be settled in court," Glasek tells E! Online, noting that the bodyguards had sought money from the TV star before being let go.
The bodyguards are also suing Kroll, as well as the West Palm Beach-based firm that hired them, Bates Dunning & Associates.
While the Queen of Nice is coming under fire for pink-slipping her security, the situation isn't exactly a surprise given the lengths celebrities frequently go to protect their privacy, especially from the supermarket tabloids, which pay employees for dirt or photographs of the stars at home. (In fact, both O'Donnell and her neighbor, pop singer Gloria Estefan, fired their in-house personal trainer after he allegedly snapped pictures of their children.)
Legal experts say the O'Donnell spy case is also unusual because, while the Sunshine State bans all audio taping of individuals without their consent, the law is unclear when it comes to monitoring people in the privacy of their own home.
Florida law has a provision allowing some home-based video surveillance, such as when a babysitter is taking care of the kids.