Lawsuit Over a Very Bad Spa Day at Anatole

Courthouse News brings word this morning of a suit involving Unfair Park's 'cross-the-freeway neighbor, the Hilton Anatole -- specifically, its V Spa, which bills itself as "a sublime setting, a true spa experience, a multitude of treatments ready to revitalize and pamper, heal and refresh." The suit, filed Friday in Dallas County court, contends otherwise: Says here that the plaintiff, a Dallas doctor going by the name Jane Roe in the pleadings, checked in last August with a friend, only to discover that the man working behind the counter was checking her out ... with a poorly placed cell phone used to record her while she was undressing.

Dallas County criminal records don't dispute some kind of incident occurred: A 24-year-old man named Malek Atia pleaded guilty last month to the felony charge of improper photography or visual recording. Says the suit, that's because of this:

Dr. Roe discovered that the cell phone was partly covered by a tissue, which concealed a tiny hole cut out for the lens. Waves of shock, disgust and nausea crashed down on Dr. Roe, because she could see that the phone had been recording her while she was changing. She replayed the video and saw that the phone had, in fact, captured her bending over to get changed and putting on her bra while she was partially nude. Dr. Roe saw Atia's face at the start of the video, which showed him placing the phone in position to secretly videotape her while she changed her clothes.

Which wasn't the worst part, says the suit, which claims that hotel and spa management didn't immediately call Dallas Police, questioned her for an hour, passed around the phone so mostly male employees could look at it for whatever reason, then let Atia stick around long enough to get the doctor and her guest's personal information. That, says the suit, resulted in a phone call from Atia's sister, who begged the doctor not to press charges because that could result in his deportation to Egypt. And on top of all that, says the suit, the hotel never followed up and "kept all of the fees it that it charged for the services rendered while its manager or employee ... engaged in criminal conduct by secretly videotaping Dr. Roe."

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