Charles Cohen

GOSSIP & RUMORS: Ex-Avenue editor Kristina Stewart Ward says she was mocked for being Mormon

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A veteran magazine editor claims the billionaire real estate mogul who hired her to run Avenue was a racist, sexist jerk who paid her less because she was a woman and mocked her for being a Mormon, a lawsuit claims.

Kristina Stewart Ward, who was editor-in-chief of Avenue from 2019 until she was fired on March 9, 2020, claims her termination was in retaliation for objecting to Charles Cohen’s “sexism, racism, ageism, religious discrimination, and discriminatory remarks,” according to the Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit filed Thursday.

Kristina Stewart Ward claims she was fired in retaliation to objecting to Charles Cohen’s “sexism.”
Zandy Mangold

Ward, 55, contends in the suit that she asked for $180,000 a year for the job at the society magazine, but Cohen pressured her into taking a salary of $100,000 over 17 months. Her successor, a younger man, was paid $180,000, legal papers say.

When The Post’s Page Six announced Ward’s hiring at Avenue, Cohen allegedly flew into a rage because the report mentioned she was Mormon.

“Why is your religion getting all the attention? It’s distracting from my magazine. This isn’t a Mormon magazine,” he alleged yelled, according to court papers.

Avenue magazine
The latest issue of Avenue.

Cohen also made fun of Ward’s wardrobe saying during a 2019 editorial meeting of her floral dress, “What are you wearing? Is that standard Mormon attire?” legal papers say.

Cohen “objectified and vetted female job candidates,” wanting to see photos of potential hires and remarking about one staffer, “She’s a little overweight, no?” the suit alleges.

Ward claims Cohen, who also owns Landmark Theatres, micromanaged the magazine and “regularly screamed” if she made any move “without his knowledge and approval, even though he had to be laboriously tracked down for such input since he spent most of his time outside the office—either on his 220-foot yacht, at one of his five residences, or else traveling for one of his many other companies,” legal paper say.

The suit against Cohen’s business entities including Cohen Brothers Realty Corp. seeks back pay and unspecified damages. The real estate company was sued in 2021 over bullying allegations.

“I’m not in a position to comment on anything I don’t know about,” Cohen said Saturday about Ward’s suit, which is seeking unspecified damages.

A spokeswoman later said that Ward’s contract had expired and Cohen was unaware of any lawsuit.



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