UPLAND, Calif. — She’s been called “the nightmare nanny” for refusing to leave the home of the family that hired — then fired — her, but now Diane Stretton is speaking out for the first time.
And she says she’s not a con-artist squatter, she’s a victim.
“I didn’t get lunch breaks, I didn’t get coffee breaks, I didn’t get any holidays. Basically, I was working 24/7,” she told Los Angeles’ KNX 1070 news radio. “They were the ones that were trying to exploit me, as if I was some poor migrant worker from a foreign country that they could just exploit and work 24/7.”
The saga began back in March when Marcella Bracamonte hired Stretton as a nanny to take care of her three children and to help out with household chores.
But the relationship soured after a few months, and what happened next depends on who you ask. Bracamonte says she fired Stretton, but Stretton says she quit.
“I wasn’t fired, unless you can be fired after you quit,” she said in the radio interview. “I quit two days before they fired me. And I gave 30 days of notice, which we had agreed to.”
However it went down, a California judge sided with Stretton, ruling that the Bracamontes did not terminate the nanny’s employment in a legal manner.
Stretton refused to leave the Bracamonte home in Upland, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles, and police told the family they couldn’t force her out without an eviction notice.
Even the Bracamontes’ attorney says the ruling was correct by law.
“She has absolutely every right to stay in the house at this time,” Marc Cohen said. “Under the law in California (eviction) can take 30 to 45 days.”
The family said Stretton threatened to sue if they tried to force her out.
Stretton is on the California’s Vexatious Litigant List, a list of people who continually bring legal action, regardless of merit, against others with the sole intention of harassment.
There have been dozens of lawsuits filed by Stretton in California over the years.
There were signs Monday night that the impasse was nearing an end.
Marcella Bracamonte said Stretton — who is currently sleeping in her car, while all of her belongings remain inside Bracamontes’ home — offered to move out over the July 4 weekend.
But Bracamonte said that can’t happen.
“We’re going to a wedding, it has been planned for a year,” she said. “My sister is getting married on a cruise ship and we’re going.”