The former chief overseer of the Prime Minister’s residence who filed suit Wednesday against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara for alleged labor misconduct, broke his silence on Sunday, rejecting claims that he sought to defame the couple or extract money from them.

In a recording released to the Israeli media Sunday, Manny Naftali said of the claims, "It is amazing that I was ready to take a bullet for them and now they are accusing me of these things. It hurts me very much to hear this."

Channel 2 reported that Naftali, who was first employed as a bodyguard to Sara and then promoted to become the overseer of the residence, sued the couple for NIS 1 million in damages.

Naftali joins a list of other former employees who, after leaving their positions, have alleged of unkind, capricious and nasty treatment.

Naftali alleged in the suit that the couple did not “fulfill their obligations” to him and did not pay sufficient overtime. He chronicled a number of incidents where Sara behaved poorly, such as waking him up at 3 a.m. to complain that someone bought milk in a bag, rather than in a carton. Another time, he claimed, she was unhappy that there were wilting flowers in a vase, saying that would never happen in the Élysée Palace, and she threw the flowers on the floor.

The Prime Minister’s Office responded by calling the allegations “evil gossip” that violated the couple’s privacy and were aimed at defaming them and extracting money.

Naftali said Sunday, "All I asked was that they uphold their obligations to me - to be an established state employee and not a contract worker. In this way I would have employment security and I could easily change positions."

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.



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