Charlotte eye doctor facing sexual harassment allegations files for bankruptcy

Charlotte eye doctor, Jonathan Christenbury, surrendered his medical license Wednesday amid accusations he sexually harassed employees at his eye care center. (Credit: Observer Archives)
Charlotte eye doctor, Jonathan Christenbury, surrendered his medical license Wednesday amid accusations he sexually harassed employees at his eye care center. (Credit: Observer Archives)

CHARLOTTE, NC (Cassie Cope and Maria David/The Charlotte Observer) - Jonathan Christenbury, a prominent Charlotte eye doctor who recently surrendered his medical license amid accusations that he sexually harassed employees, filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday.

Last year, two former employees, including a former Charlotte Hornets dancer, sued Christenbury, saying the owner of Christenbury Eye Center maintained a sexually hostile workplace.

Christenbury regularly hired women based on their attractiveness and subjected them to unwanted sexual advances, the lawsuits say.

Previous: Charlotte eye doctor offered employee $5,000 for sex and stalked her, lawsuit claims

Christenbury filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, meaning he will sell his assets to pay off debts, then the remaining debt will be discharged. The majority of Christenbury's debts are business debts, according to the bankruptcy filing.

Christenbury estimates that his assets range from $1 million to $10 million with his liabilities in the same range, according to the filing. He owes money to between 100 to 199 creditors, according to the filing.

A list of the creditors was attached, including local, state and federal tax agencies, banks, an accounting firm, AT&T and law firms.

Christenbury voluntarily surrendered his medical license to the North Carolina Medical Board late last year.

A former Charlotte Hornets dancer whom Christenbury hired in 2014 claims Christenbury once offered her $5,000 for sex, and followed her and a group of friends on a trip to Miami. The lawsuit also claims Christenbury once pulled up her skirt and "grabbed her buttocks."

Another former employee suing Christenbury said in her complaint that he touched her inappropriately, and licked her neck on one occasion.

Christenbury rose to prominence because of his expertise in LASIK eye surgery. In the early 1990s, he was the first doctor to perform the surgery in the Carolinas.

In 2011, he settled a lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed he stalked, sexually exploited, intimidated and threatened her.

The Charlotte Observer Staff Writer LaVendrick Smith contributed.