A former tax lawyer for Gucci has claimed that she was instructed to "tax the hell" out of Rihanna because the pop star was not from the United States.
The New York Post reports a claim from Robinson's suit which references Rihanna's endorsement deal with the company: "When [executive international tax counsel Stan] Sherwood discovered that Rihanna was from a Caribbean island, he told Robinson to 'tax the hell out of her' and find a way to allow Gucci to withhold 30 percent of her fee."
Josephine Robinson is suing the fashion house for $5 million for "an unrelenting barrage of racist comments and jokes at her expense by Sherwood and others at Gucci". Robinson alleges that her dismissal from the company last year came after she complained about her experiences.
Robinson's lawyer, Rick Ostrove said: "It is shocking that top level officials of a company as esteemed as Gucci would behave in such an inappropriate manner."
Gucci was swift to refute the claims with a spokesperson announcing: "Ms Robinson's allegations are completely baseless, and the company will defend itself vigorously against this meritless litigation. The company is confident that it will prevail."
Representatives for Rihanna have not commented on the allegations.