Former Ferrari Australasia CEO Herbert Appleroth claimed that it was “routine” for senior Ferrari executives to have consensual sexual relations with junior staffers.
According to Fairfax Media reports, Appleroth, who was fired from Ferrari Australasia in November last year, has made the sensational allegations against his former employer under extraordinary circumstances.
The allegations have come to light in a wrongful dismissal suit filed in a Sydney court by Appleroth in May this year, which claimed that he was wrongfully terminated for having had an affair with a junior co-worker.
The dismissal suit alleged that it was a “notorious fact among senior officers” that executives “routinely” had “consensual sexual relations” with junior staff, and named two other global executives as having affairs “without adverse consequence for their employment”.
The former chief of the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team, Maurizio Arrivabene (below), and Ferrari’s global head of sales, Luca Zanetti, were two of the executives that Appleroth accused within his lawsuit of such behaviour.
Maurizio Arrivabene in 2018 (Getty)
The allegations have not been tested in court because Appleroth, who was fired from his role last November, has discontinued his legal action against Ferrari.
The suit was subsequently withdrawn by Appleroth a little over a week after it was filed.
Appleroth then applied to the federal court to have the documents deemed confidential after an application by Fairfax Media to view them, but the judge denied the order.
“Although I am not unmoved by the circumstances that Mr Appleroth identifies as reasons for granting the relief that he seeks … I do not consider that the circumstances here amount to reason enough to depart from the foundational principle of open justice," said the Honourable Justice Snaden.
The statement of claim revealed that Appleroth was seeking $1 million in unpaid entitlements, remuneration, and penalties from Ferrari Australasia.
It also revealed that Appleroth (above) had engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with a fellow office worker, who bore the Aeroplane Jelly heir a son.
The relationship ended, and the woman – whose identity has been suppressed via court order - resigned at the end of her maternity leave, filing her own worker’s compensation claim against Ferrari Australasia.
Appleroth - who admitted in the claim that he had tried to convince the woman to terminate the pregnancy - said within his claim that while he had “consensual sexual relations” with the woman, it did not affect any “legitimate business interest of the employer”.
“Ferrari rejects recent characterisations of its workplace culture," a Ferrari spokesperson told WhichCar.
"Ferrari is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace and community. Ferrari’s workplace policies are clear, we do not condone or accept harassment or misconduct of any kind.”