"Nightmare Nanny" slams ex-employers, calls them "con artists"

Diane Stretton

CBS Los Angeles

UPLAND, Calif. - A 64-year-old live-in nanny who has come under fire for allegedly refusing to work or leave a California family's home told CBS Los Angeles' radio affiliate that she was forced to work 24/7 under unfair conditions and that the couple that employed her are "con artists."

"They were the ones that were trying to exploit me, as if I was some poor migrant worker from a foreign county that they could just exploit and work 24/7," Diane Stretton told the station on Monday.

"I certainly wouldn't have taken [the job] if I had known what they really had in mind," she added.

Michelle Bracamonte, 31, and her husband hired Stretton off of Craigslist in March as a live-in nanny to care for their three children, Bracamonte said.

But, the mother said, shortly after she was hired, Stretton became a burden: She left her bedroom only for meals and later claimed she was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

"She complained about me leaving her with the kids too long. I tried to be patient with her," Bracamonte said. "She just stopped working altogether."

The couple said they fired the nanny on June 6 after she stopped working, but Stretton asserted her rights as a tenant and she hasn't left. She has threatened to sue the couple for elder abuse, Bracamonte said.

Stretton's name is on the state's list of vexatious litigants, a list of those who generally file frivolous court claims.

But Stretton told a different story to radio station KNX 1070. She said she wasn't fired; she quit.

"I quit two days before they fired me. And I gave 30 days of notice, which we had agreed to. Second of all, on the refusal to work, there's only two days, and this was after I'd been there for 90 straight days without a day off, that I didn't work. And those two days I had the flu so bad I was considering calling an ambulance," Stretton said.

The nanny went on to say that the family made her work 24/7, didn't give her lunch or coffee breaks or holidays off and also did not allow her adequate time to use the laundry room or even go to the bathroom.

In a separate interview with KTLA, Stretton claimed the family tried to feed her dog food.

In response to Stretton's interviews, Marc Cohen, the Bracamonte family's attorney, said, "The family is deeply disturbed and absolutely denies all of those statements. It's absolutely not true."

Stretton, who is currently living in her car, has offered to move out of the home under certain conditions, according to CBS Los Angeles.

She reportedly said she wants a few days to move and the media to be gone. If that happens, Stretton said she'll move out by July 4.

Cohen said notices will be filed this week forcing Stretton to leave by July 7 and if she doesn't, a lawsuit will be filed.