TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- On the heels of the humiliating acts demanded of an EVA Air flight attendant last week, another EVA Air flight attendant came forward on Tuesday (Jan. 29) to issue a public complaint after she was intensely questioned by the airline over a false rumor that she had been involved in prostitution and a pornographic video.
At a news conference held in front of the Taoyuan City Government on Tuesday morning, the female flight attendant, who covered her face with a ball cap and black mask to maintain her anonymity, told reporters that she had been falsely accused of engaging in prostitution in the Netherlands and taking part in an adult video. She said she was traumatized by the ensuing questioning and forced written statements, and was humiliated by the rumors that circulated in the company because of the investigation.
The flight attendant, who had served with EVA Air for 8 years, said that the company received an anonymous letter on Jan. 18 alleging that she was in an adult video. Without checking for the veracity of the claim, the air carrier temporarily reassigned her duties on Jan. 19, interrogated her for three hours, and asked her baited questions about her friends and emotional state.
Regarding the nature of the questions, EVA Air Union member Chao Chieh-huan (趙婕歡) said, "He [company] directly asked my union member, 'please may I ask if you have ever had a foreign boyfriend? Does your boyfriend have tattoos on his body? Because the main character in the video has tattoos.' He kept pressing with the questions, and then asked 'if you think that it was a boyfriend who filmed it, which boyfriend was it,'" reported SETN.
Crying as she recalled the painful memory of the incident, she said that although she denied the rumors many times, the company asked her to "prove herself innocent" and questioned her personal matters with suspicion. The anonymous letter included photos and video of a porn actress who goes by the stage name SukiSukiGirl, and interrogators demanded that she prove that she was not the actress, reported Liberty Times.
They then insisted that she continue to search the internet to find if there were any other obscene photos or videos with her in them.
Flight attendant (center) speaks to media. (CNA image)
She says the company then asked her to write a formal letter stating that she was not the person in the video in question and that she would never do anything to hurt the company's reputation. She said that in addition to the questioning, they told her to "be more careful," but no solution was proposed, causing the rumors to magnify greatly.
She said the company's action led to gossip among colleagues and aggravated the rumors, causing to her to suffer psychological trauma. She said that she hoped the company could come forward to clear up the issue and also allow coworkers who suffer from psychological trauma on the job to take leave.
In addition to appealing to the Taoyuan City government to intervene to stop such improper questioning and on-board humiliation, Flight Attendants Union secretary-general Cheng Ya-ling (鄭雅菱) asked EVA Air to apologize to the party involved in the incident, assist in restoring her reputation, and grant occupational sickness leave based on a doctor's recommendations, reported CNA.
Cheng also requested that the Taoyuan City government investigate if China Airlines and EVA Air is limiting days off during the Lunar New Year holiday or carrying out inappropriate interviews. Cheng called for a review of and a change to the corporate culture of autocratic management as soon as possible, according to the report.
EVA Air responded to the press conference by emphasizing that receiving reports is an important part of maintaining its corporate image, and that everything is investigated in accordance with the law, reported SETN.
In a bizarre coincidence, the same day the flight attendant was questioned (Jan. 19), an American man who is estimated to weigh 200 kilograms, boarded an EVA Air flight by wheelchair and insisted that another female flight attendant help him lower his underwear and wipe his buttocks while sitting on a toilet. The flight attendant was deeply traumatized by the incident and shared her frustrations about the episode on Facebook, before speaking to the press on Jan. 21.