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‘Nightmare nanny’ speaks: Family was the nightmare, not me

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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 Fourth 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.”


  • harmony johnson

    if that lady truly quit she wouldnt refuse to leave she has prior cases that are simular, while shes speaking now did anyone think to ask her about her past litigations? Fraud, Creap, Nightmare nanny, all of the above!!! no one will ever give her a job after her face was planted across the world.

  • Test

    “Stretton is on the California‚Äôs 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.”

    It’s amazing how the dishonest get such good mileage from the court system….. Does she get frequent suer points for every case she files?

  • Nick

    I am glad she is so popular on the news. Now she will never get another job as long as she lives. Not that this is a problem though, she will be taken care of for free courtesy of the US government.

  • Mariah Canfield-Jones

    Had a roommate did that to myself and my fiance, when we left her in Texas, I mean it, up and basically deserted in Grapevine, she out right deserved it. If this family wants my opinion, they should file fraud on the woman. Counter suing her and making sure she is unable to be rehired or hired in any business.

  • annpirie

    If that family had done its homework, as all good astute employers should do, they would have spotted her past record and not had a thing to do with her.

    • Mary

      The couple said they did a background check on her (I’m guessing just checking on her criminal background), and they figured she was fine. How many of us would have thought (before this incident) to find out if a person was a “Vexatious Litigant” (which doesn’t appear to be a crime for the Vexatious Litigant, but can be grounds for disbarment if the person regularly enlists the same attorney)?

      • Dale Gross

        Mary, this case illustrates the point I try to make all the time, that a criminal background check is vexatious, because 99.99% of the time it is not indicative of the future. However, the fact that she is a vexatious litigant would more than likely be quite relevant. It’s just that it’s not that easy to get this information, as the entire system is obsessed with criminal records that are unworthy of the weight ascribed to them. People with criminal records are a diverse bunch, yet they are all thrown into the same pot. The records don’t ever speak to the illicit actions taken by police, prosecutors, judges, and even lawmakers in securing the convictions. Further, most people with a criminal record want nothing more than to get on with their lives, which means getting a job. It’s an economic fact that everyone needs money, and there are three ways to get it: 1) work 2) steal or deal drugs 3) charity (food stamps, AFDC, welfare, SSDI, panhandling, etc.). It never made any sense to deny employment to people with criminal records, especially on the aggregate scale. On a smaller scale, insurance companies might charge more for hiring felons, but who’s the bad guy in such a case? The insurance companies have never been society’s friend. Martha Stewart is a convicted felon, but who’s afraid of Martha Stewart? The police have a history of murdering people and breaking myriad laws, but where is the hue and cry to not pay police good money to maintain employment?

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