In March, Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte hired Diane Stretton as a live-in nanny to care for their three children. The couple said that Stretton was excellent at first, but changed a few weeks later. The Bracamontes claim that after about three weeks, Stretton “didn’t want to help out” anymore. They also learned that Stretton, 64, suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, which makes her have a hard time breathing. They decided to fire her, but she refused to leave the family home. The Bracamontes couldn't do anything about it, as the terms of employment in Stretton's contract stated that she could legally stay in their home.
The couple fired Stretton on June 6, but Stretton would not leave the home and threatened to sue the Bracamontes for breach of contract, false imprisonment, and wrongful termination.
According to Stretton, she was treated cruelly by the Bracamontes. “There wasn’t a single day I was there, except for the two days I was sick, that I didn’t do dishes and about two or three hours of cleanup,” she said, "They were trying to exploit me...like a poor migrant worker."
The “Nightmare Nanny” said that she was so overworked and that she would do her job for 10 hours a day without having coffee breaks or lunches. She also said that the family gave her dog food to eat. According to Stretton, Marcella Bracamonte gave her three children cans of dog food and told them to place the food outside her room for her to eat.
Now, the Bracamontes are saying that Stretton has finally agreed to move out of their home by July 4. However, she has certain conditions that need to be met. According to Marcella Bracamonte, Stretton wrote an email that said that she is going to move out “because of the hot weather that’s going to happen soon.” However, she won’t start packing her things until the media posted outside the home leaves.
Although the family should be relieved that Stretton has finally decided to move out, they are more worried than ever. They are scheduled to leave their home on July 2 to attend a wedding and they feel that it is an opportunity for Stretton to lock them out of their own home. While the Bracamontes are away, they will leave their house to their relatives.
Reports also say that this is not the first time Stretton squatted in a home. She did the same thing in another family’s home four years ago. Marcella said that a woman from California claiming to have a similar experience with Stretton contacted her. Stretton has been attached to other cases in California including negligence and nonpayment for property damage.
Because of their experience, the Bracamontes claim they will never hire a nanny again.
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