Who Is Lianna Shaknazarian? New Details About Mariah Carey's Ex-Assistant Who She's Suing Over Blackmail Tapes

Mariah Carey says her ex-assistant tried to blackmail her with intimate videos.

Who Is Lianna Shaknazarian? New Details About Mariah Carey's Ex-Assistant Who She's Suing Over Blackmail Tapes Instagram

The biggest drama in Hollywood may not be on a studio lot right now; it may be in the courtroom where Mariah Carey and her former assistant are squaring off with competing lawsuits against one another.

Back in January, the Grammy-winning singer filed a suit alleging that her former assistant Lianna Shaknazarian, also known as Lianna Azarian, committed extortion and spied on her boss and purchased items on a credit card belonging to the singer. Azarian filed a countersuit alleging a hostile, racist workplace and wrongful termination.


Now Carey has filed yet more legal documents claiming Azarian has no standing to sue her at all based on a previous legal agreement.

So who is Lianna Shaknazarian? And what is going on between the diva and her former employee? Read on for all the details.

RELATED: The Bizarre (And Very Troubling) Claims That Mariah Carey Sexually Harassed Her Head Of Security

1. Assistant

In 2015, Carey was looking for an assistant to manage her personal affairs. The singer was in the middle of her divorce from Nick Cannon at the time, and her twin boys were only 4 years old.


She was recording and performing regularly at that time and needed someone on had to help with her daily affairs. She hired Lianna Shaknazarian, who was professionally known as Lianna Azarian for the job.



A post shared by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey) on Dec 26, 2018 at 7:50am PST

2. Right-hand woman

Far from merely taking calls and picking u dry cleaning, Azarian had an integral role in Carey’s life. According to Courthouse News, “If Carey were the CEO of her brand then Azarian was like the vice president.”


Azarian traveled first class with Carey and had intimate access to the musician’s business and personal lives.

3. Running the grift

Allegedly, the whole time Azarian was working for Carey, she was also taking advantage of the situation. Carey’s filing states that Azarian made expensive purchases on one of Carey's credit cards and never reimbursed the singer.

"Mariah is informed and believes that to this day Azarian retains a closet full of expensive clothing and handbags that belong to or were paid for by Mariah,” the filing states. Azrian also allegedly offered to store furniture for Carey during a move but never returned the items.


RELATED: Mariah Carey Shares The Symptoms That Led To Her Being Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder — And Why She Was Scared People Would Find Out



Celebrating Caution World Tour with family 

A post shared by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey) on Feb 28, 2019 at 12:28am PST

4. Blackmail video

Perhaps the most serious allegation in the suit is that Azarian took videos of Carey that are of an intimate nature and “secretly filmed Mariah engaged in personal activities which, if revealed … would be personally embarrassing and professionally damaging to Mariah.”

Other employees reported that at the time, Azarian said that if she was ever fired, she would sell the videos and purchase a home for herself. Now Carey is suing for $3 million in damages, an injunction barring Azarian from releasing any videos, and an order to destroy the footage and return of all her stolen goods returned.



Caution tour begins now!!!  #CautionWorldTour 

A post shared by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey) on Feb 27, 2019 at 6:10pm PST

5. I’ll see you in court

Carey made the decision to sue for damages early in 2019, telling Vanity Fair: “This new year welcomes Mariah’s continued efforts to clean the trash from her life."

"According to a Complaint filed today in California, an executive assistant employed in 2015 to help with business and personal matters, turned out to be a grifter and extortionist. Because her threats and bad acts are too great to be ignored, Mariah has been compelled to file a lawsuit against her. Given that the evidence against this former assistant is vast and deplorable, we anticipate a victorious resolution. Mariah continues her streak of success this year with an upcoming North American tour and return to Vegas.”

5. Countersuit

Azarian has hired her own lawyers to countersue, claiming that Carey created a hostile work environment. Specifically, the suit alleges that Carey's manager Stella Bulochnikov made racist remarks based on Azarian’s Armenian heritage, slapped her breasts and buttocks and once tackled her, held her down, and urinated on her.


She claims that when she complained to Carey in 2017, she was fired.

Azarian’s lawyers say: “These baseless allegations are an attempt to attack my client’s character and deflect attention away from a workplace harassment and wrongful termination lawsuit she filed today against her former employer, Mariah Carey. My client never did anything she wasn’t specifically asked to do while working in the course and scope of her job as a personal assistant. Her lawsuit is about holding her employer accountable for severely inappropriate behavior that caused tremendous stress and emotional turmoil.”



CAUTION World Tour Opening tonight  Dallas, TX  #CautionWorldTour 

A post shared by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey) on Feb 27, 2019 at 10:15am PST

6. Counter-countersuit

Now Carey is back in court to say that Azarian has no grounds to sue her for anything under the terms of a pre-existing settlement.


In 2017, as part of Carey’s separation agreement from her ex-fiancé James Packer, Azarian signed away her rights to sue her former employer. Azarian says she didn’t realize that’s what she was agreeing to when she signed the paperwork and feels that she was duped by her lawyers who also represented Carey.

There hasn't been a ruling on the filing so far.

Keep an eye on courthouse reporting for the next chapters in the legal drama.



A post shared by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey) on Jul 13, 2016 at 4:21pm PDT

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.