Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting a lawsuit that accuses his wife of verbally abusing a housekeeper.

Netanyahu's office issued a statement Sunday saying the case is false and "full of lies and defamation."

In her lawsuit, the former housekeeper accuses Sara Netanyahu of verbal abuse, paying her less than minimum wage and forcing her to work on the Jewish Sabbath.

Talk of the lawsuit dominated Israeli newscasts Sunday and brought back memories of Netanyahu's tumultuous first term in office a decade ago.

During her husband's first term in the late 1990s, Mrs. Netanyahu was accused on several occasions of squabbling with her staff, flaunting her young children in public and meddling in state affairs.