Billionaire Senate Candidate Treated Chef, Yacht Employees Like Crap

Jeff Greene, the weird billionaire playboy who, for some reason, wants to be Florida's Democratic senator, owns a "party yacht" called Summerwind and employs a staff to maintain it. And the staff of Summerwind really, really hate Jeff Greene.

Greene, who was recently identified as the "creepy middle-aged guy wearing children's clown clothes" in paparazzi photos of a Lindsay Lohan trip to the Caribbean, is doing well in the polls going into his Senate primary against Rep. Kendrick Meek. He seems so nice in his ads, promising to give everyone in Florida jobs, jobs, jobs, and maybe even some jobs once he becomes Senator.

But as a lengthy profile of Greene in the St. Petersburg Times shows, there's quite a line of former Jeff Greene employees — especially those who worked on his vomit-encrusted "party boat" — willing to speak out against (or sue) their hated asshole ex-boss.

James Battles, Greene's former personal chef, sued him last year. The suit alleges Greene demanded round-the-clock attention and would berate and humiliate Battles when he sought reimbursement for food paid for out of his own pocket.

Battles said Greene fired him after he was hospitalized for exhaustion before one of Greene's parties. The settlement is confidential and Greene declined to discuss the case.

Former and current employees tell similar stories, though most fear talking publicly.

Adam Lambert worked as captain of Greene's 145-foot yacht, Summerwind, earlier this year.

"He has total disregard for anybody else,'' chuckled Lambert, who said he was Greene's 20th and 22nd Summerwind captain (No. 21 quit after a few hours with Greene).

"I don't think I ever once had an actual conversation with him. It was always, 'I should just get rid of you, what f——— good are you? You're just a f——— boat driver. You're the third-highest paid employee in my corporation and I should just get rid of you,' '' Lambert, 43, recalled by phone from a yacht in Croatia. "It didn't bother me. I just felt sorry for the man. He doesn't seem very happy."

Another deckhand who worked for Greene in 2007, Harlan Hoffman, was hospitalized while working on Summerwind. How helpful was Greene in this case?

A boat's owner is supposed to take care of on-the-job medical costs, but Hoffman said Greene - whom he never met - told the insurance company he had never heard of Hoffman and that he didn't work on Summerwind. It took eight months and legal action that included affidavits from other crew members vouching for Hoffman and trashing Greene to get his bills paid.

We need fresh blood in the Senate, Jeff Greene says, so elect him! But does it count if that fresh blood is evil blood from Hell? This may be a flaw with Jeff Greene's candidacy.

[via Salon, image via AP]