Nanny Alleges Music-Label CEO, Wife Set Up Secret Cameras

Suit against Schubas owner Michael Johnston names his wife, too
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2021 2:08 PM CST
Owner of Chicago Music Venues Accused of Filming Nanny
Jane Doe and Julie Doe claim they found hidden cameras.   (Getty Images)

An unexpected shakeup in the Chicago music scene: Michael Johnston, owner of Lincoln Hall and Schubas, has been relieved of his role as president and CEO of the Audiotree record label he co-founded and his job handling the well-known music venues following accusations that he and his wife set up cameras in order to record two young women naked, reports the Sun-Times. NBC Chicago reports a civil suit filed against Johnston and wife Kelly Halverson names a Jane Doe and Julie Doe, both DePaul University graduates who were employed in a nanny/house sitter capacity for the couple, who have two young children.

They say they were asked to housesit in January 2020 and prodded by the couple to make use of the Jacuzzi tub in the master bath as well as their stash of wine and beer. Jane alleges that while house-sitting for them the following month she found a hidden camera masquerading as a picture frame in the bathroom. She alleges a search turned up two more, one in another bathroom and the second in the bedroom she was saying in. Lawyer Gail Eisenberg says the cameras were motion-activated, and alleges Johnston is shown on video setting them up.

Johnston was arrested a week ago and appeared in bond court last Wednesday on a felony charge of making an unauthorized recording in a bathroom. Halverson has not been charged. Audiotree released a Monday night statement stating that "as of Saturday, Nov. 12, Johnston is no longer a part of the Audiotree team. We respectfully ask for patience as we navigate this challenging time." (Read more Chicago stories.)

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