05/11/2007 at 09:00 AM EDT
Sting and wife Trudie Styler discriminated against their private chef by firing her after she became pregnant, a tribunal ruled Thursday.
The couple, who said they were "devastated" by the judgment, face a hefty payout to ex-employee Jane Martin. The exact amount will be decided at a June 8 hearing, the Associated Press reports.
Martin, 41, said she had worked for Sting, 55, and Styler, 53, for eight years, and that after she got pregnant in 2005, Styler forced her to work long hours and got mad when she took sick days.
The chef, who left her job under disputed circumstances in April 2006, said Styler had a "grandiose ego" and wanted to be treated "in a royal manner beyond her station as an actress," the AP reports.
In its ruling, the employment tribunal said Martin was unlawfully dismissed and a victim of sexual discrimination and said Styler "had tried to distance herself from various unlawful acts and have them carried out by minions on her behalf. ... She is without doubt the driving force manipulating others to perform her dirty work."
Styler and her husband plan to appeal and said in a statement. "I am devastated that the tribunal's judgment makes this unjust and unfair attack on Sting and me," she said in a statement. "Jane Martin was always treated well and generously as an employee, and we remain stunned at her actions and at the verdict of the tribunal."
Sting and Styler have four children, ranging in age from 11 to 23. Sting recently announced plans to tour with The Police
for the first time since 1984.