A young woman is suing a former Indian government official and her husband for treating her as their personal slave while working inside the Indian Mission to United Nations. Shanti Gurung, now 21, claims that former consular press attache Neena Malhotra and husband Jogesh Malhotra abused her while she was underage, forcing her to sleep on the floor, work 16-hour days, and give daily massages, all while denying her money, and occasionally, food. "This is a horrific story, like something from the Middle Ages," said Gurung's lawyer, Mitchell Karlan.

Gurung, who was only 17 when her "involuntary service" began, says the couple tricked her into accompanying them to America in March 2006, promising her 5,000 Indian rupees (approximately $108) a month, along with raises; she only received one payment, and was threatened that, "if she ever tried to leave, the police would beat and arrest her....take any of Ms. Gurung's money and send her back to India as cargo," according to the suit.

Gurung was charged with cooking, cleaning, running errands and doing chores for the couple, who often held late night parties in their East 43rd Street apartment. She claims they repeatedly starved her, refusing her rice and berating her one time for eating a slice of bread. Gurung was able to escape the couple, who have since returned to India, in July 2009. Neena Malhotra currently works for the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.