AP Photo/Kim D. Johnson
It's the little victories.
Both Rob Lowe and the former nanny who's suing him for sexual harassment each emerged somewhat triumphant Thursday after a judge threw out multiple counts from the vitriolic lawsuits they've leveled at each other.
"The court threw out four of their claims," Gloria Allred, who's representing Jessica Gibson in her suit against Lowe and his wife Sheryl, told E! News after the ruling. Lowe "doesn’t intimidate Jessica with all his fame, his power and his high-priced attorney."
Among the allegations tossed today was Lowe's defamation claim. Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Denise de Bellefeuille ruled that Lowe could not go after his former employee for supposedly dragging his name through the mud because Gibson is protected by a state law allowing people to protest their workplace conditions.
The Lowes sued Gibson (and others) in April for defamation, breach of contract, invasion of privacy and other civil sins, claiming they had violated a confidentiality agreement she signed when she went to work for them and had threatened to drum up a sexual-harassment claim if they didn't give her more than $1 million.
The 24-year-old fired back just days later with a 12-count civil suit railing against her "workplace conditions." She claimed that Lowe "repeatedly exposed himself to her and inappropriately touched her" and that Sheryl walked around the house naked, made vulgar comments and frequently discussed her sex life while the babysitter was around.
The Lowe camp was smiling, however, after the judge dismissed Gibson's claim that the actor's lawsuit was a form of retaliation. Two charges related to labor-code violations were also thrown out last month.
"We didn't lose anything today," Lowe attorney Larry Stein told People. "I'm delighted with the dismissal we won, and in essence, our lawsuit against Gibson remains totally intact."
And so does Gibson's suit against Lowe, according to the ex-nanny's attorney.
The sexual-harassment portion of their case is still intact and that's always been the heart of Gibson's complaint, Allred said.
Lowe and his wife are also fighting a sexual harassment complaint from another yet another former babysitter, Laura Boyce, who countersued the couple after they filed a breach-of-contract suit against her.
Boyce has directed the majority of her graphically detailed allegations against Sheryl—all of which Lowe's missus has firmly denied.