White wife of black NFL player reports harassment at work


White wife Philippa, being carried by Lawrence Okoye

The white wife of a black NFL player has said that she was hounded about her interracial marriage and repeatedly sexually harassed while working at a Manhattan investment firm. Philippa Okoye, 27, a British citizen, is suing the deVere Group in federal court, claiming she was demoted and then fired from her job as a senior investment adviser after she complained about the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’-style racist and sexist treatment at the firm.


Philippa is married to Lawrence Okoye, previously a British Olympic discus thrower, and now a defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers. She alleges that one co-worker told her: “I think it’s disgusting when white women go out with black guys.” She says she was harassed over her relationship with husband Lawrence because he is black.


Philippa Okoye is suing her former employer, the deVere Group, and her boss over claims that she was demoted and then fired when she complained about sexual harassment. The deVere Group are denying the charges, calling Mrs Okoye a disgruntled ex-employee who was fired for legitimate reasons. “These false and incredulous allegations made by a disgruntled former employee are vigorously and categorically denied,” they said.


According to the lawsuit, when she started at deVere in October 2013, Mrs Okoye was the only woman and was told on the first day by Mr Alderson: “So, can you handle the banter or are you going to be a woman about it and be sensitive?” Lawrence Okoye was born in Croydon, south London, to Nigerian parents. He played rugby for Whitgift School, before taking up discus. He competed for Team Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics, placing 12th.