American Apparel's Dov Charney Sued for Sexual Harassment ... Again
Here we go again ...
American Apparel's Dov Charney has been hit with yet another sexual harassment suit by a former employee—his second in a month.
Just two weeks after onetime store manager Irene Morales filed a $260 million lawsuit alleging that she was forced to have sex with the CEO, the New York Times reports that 19-year-old former sales associate Kimbra Lo has joined three other women in a lawsuit against the controversial Charney.
In a suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Lo claims she visited Charney at home last December—seven months after she had left the retailer's employ—to see about being rehired as a model and photographer. She alleges the company founder, dressed only in a towel, led her to his bedroom, undressed her, attempted to take photographs of her, and tried to initiate sex.
Lo, who maintains that she "sought to resist but was afraid," claims that her mother contacted Charney after the incident and told him to stay away. She also asserts that Charney—who has admitted to holding meetings in his bedroom and having sexual relations with employees—did not harass her during her employment but sent her sexually explicit texts afterward.
Meanwhile, incidents involving the three other women named in the suit—Alyssa Ferguson, Marissa Wilson, and Tesa Lubans-Dehaven—have not yet been publicly disclosed because the women had signed confidentiality agreements, a requirement for all American Apparel workers. Their lawyer claims the agreements are not enforceable and is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
“I think all of these claims are contrived,” says Peter Schey, Charney’s lawyer. “The allegations are false. I think this is an effort to shake down American Apparel. These claims should be resolved in confidential arbitration.”
Though Charney has been sued for similar claims at least four times, none of the cases has gone to court. Still, the latest accusations could put a damper on the growth initiatives (including wholesale opportunities and a focus on denim) that Charney announced to WWD on March 23.