American tennis star Serena Williams has been embroiled in a lawsuit which claims she was branded "disgusting" by "racially disparaging" managers at a luxury shoe company.

According to British tabloid, The Sun, the racial discrimination lawsuit against Gianvito Rossi has been filed by former employee Whitney Wilburn yesterday. Wilburn alleged Williams was denied the same discounts as white celebrities claimed her own boss was "hostile based upon her race and age."

The lawsuit adds: "When Serena, via her staff, asked for a discount on her extensive purchases, Gianvito managers responded with racially disparaging comments about Ms.Williams which made it clear that the company did not want African-American women to wear its shoes."