Marc Jacobs President Robert Duffy and LVMH Sued by Former COO

Marc Jacobs Robert Duffy
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Robert Duffy with Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs president Robert Duffy now has bigger headaches than a Twitter-hijacking intern branding him a "tyrant."

Duffy is being sued by former Marc Jacobs executive Patrice Lataillade, who charges that Duffy engaged in sexual discrimination and retaliation, WWD reports.

Former chief financial officer and chief operating officer Lataillade, who also names parent company LVMH and Marc Jacobs International in the lawsuit, alleges that he was “subjected to a discriminatory environment offensive to him” and was “fired [in September 2010] in retaliation for objecting to that environment.”

Claiming that Duffy "uses company funds for personal expenses and does not censor what he does or says" and produced and distributed "a book that included photos of MJI staff in sexual positions or nude," Lataillade is seeking lost wages, compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys' fees, and any other compensation the court elects.

The plaintiff also says he was let go "within less than a week" after formally complaining to company executives via his lawyers and feels that his $1 million-per-year compensation package is "inconsistent with a 'cause' termination."

The suit, filed in New York state court, also makes reference to LVMH's recent firing of Dior designer John Galliano.

"The intentional nature of LVMH’s failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation is consistent with its pattern of weighing public reaction before punishing biased conduct,” the suit says.

“The allegations contained in the complaint are false," an LVMH spokeswoman tells WWD. "Patrice Lataillade was terminated as chief financial officer and chief operating officer of MJI for serious matters unrelated to the allegations contained in the complaint. MJI, LVMH Inc., and Robert Duffy will vigorously defend the case in court.”