Dov Charney, CEO of American Apparel, just can't stay out of the headlines for doing raunchy, skeezy things. Remember when it came out that he was demanding the firing of employees he thought were unattractive? Then, there was the whole fiasco with the newest softcore porn/bush-on-display ads. The latest: Charney's being sued (again) by a former employee. She claims she endured "eight anguished months of forced sex," according to The New York Daily News.
The employee, Irene Morales, who is a mere 20 years old (although, you know, ancient by Dov's standards), filed the suit on Friday for $260 million in Brooklyn Supreme court. She says she worked at the Chelsea store since she was 17, and from the start, Charney was harassing her -- asking for explicit pictures, among other things, and continuously telling her that she would have to have sex with him once she turned 18. (Ewwwww!)
The Daily News explains that "the pressure of Charney's demands caused Morales to become 'increasingly nervous and depressed,' forcing a hospital stay after an 'emotional breakdown.'"
The rest of the story ... well, it gets more graphic and disturbing. (Even worse than your usual run-of-the-mill American Apparel ads.) According to the lawsuit, Charney invited Morales to his apartment on her birthday in April 2008. He opened the door wearing only his underwear and "forced her to go down on her knees just inside the front door and perform fellatio upon him." Later, he forced her to do the same thing on his bed, "nearly suffocating her in the process."
"She was then, to all intents and purposes, held prisoner in the apartment for several hours and forced to perform additional sexual acts," says the suit.
Oh. My. God!!! This isn't exactly surprising to hear, but if it's true, it's revolting and unacceptable nonetheless. This guy seems to be such a screwed up sick twisted bastard ... Need proof?
This isn't the first lawsuit like this that he's been slapped with. In 2005, two separate sexual harassment lawsuits were filed in which three plaintiffs who worked for American Apparel charged that they endured sexual misconduct and innuendo and an environment in which women did not feel safe. (Sounds similar to Morales' situation, no?)
One of the plaintiffs, Mary Nelson, also asserted that Charney made her work life miserable with unwelcome sexual comments and suggestive signals. (Also echoes Morales.) She says she was dismissed after she complained.
Nelson's lawyer grilled Charney in a videotaped deposition. He asked him if he ever called his employees "sluts." Charney's response: "In private conversations, where such language was generally welcome ... It could be an endearing term."
In the deposition, Charney declined to answer whether he had ever had sex in the workplace, or to discuss which women in the company he’s been involved with. But a former AA employee claimed that Charney was "looking for sex almost constantly ... from employees."
Also, Charney has been forthright in the media about getting intimate with staffers. “I’m not saying I want to screw all the girls at work,” he once told Jane magazine. “But if I fall in love at work, it’s going to be beautiful and sexual.”
How has he gotten away with building a career out of sexual harassment? Is he in with the retail mafia or something?
Sadly, the Daily News reports that Morales didn't come forward sooner because she was ashamed. She was also probably terrified. Now, though, she's considering pressing criminal charges. HELLO! YES, girl! Do it!!!
Morales may just be asking for money right now, but if she files that criminal suit (do it, do it!), I hope he's finally found guilty and thrown in jail, so American Apparel goes out of business. (It's not like you can't find an equally plain cotton T-shirt elsewhere.)
As for Charney's camp, well, the company issued a statement asserting that Morales left the company without complaint and her lawyers are just trying to extort money from American Apparel. What the ...? Yup, because the idea that Dov Charney could possibly sexually harass a young woman and force her to have sex sounds like the dream of a maniac. Rrright. Oh wait, AA's statement doesn't even DENY Morales' assertions! Now, how sick is that?
Do you think Dov Charney should get what's coming to him?
Image via dovcharney/Flickr