American Apparel CEO Dov Charney has a reputation for being a sex hound. He famously masturbated in front of a female reporter. He's been the subject of multiple sexual harassment lawsuits. But none bigger than today's.
A former American Apparel employee has filed a lawsuit alleging that Dov sexually harassed her at work when she was still 17; then, she says, he forced her to come to his apartment to have sex with him on her 18th birthday. According to her lawsuit, Dov answered the door in his underwear and "forced her to her knees so she could pleasure him."
"Then he dragged her to the bedroom, threw her on the bed, got on top of her and forced her to perform another act of fellatio, nearly suffocating her in the process," the suit alleges.
She was then essentially "held prisoner" in the apartment for several hours during which time he forced her to perform additional sexual acts, according to the lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
Now she's suing him, as well as the company, for a quarter of a billion dollars (although the entire company is currently worth less than $80 million) saying that his actions caused her to suffer an "emotional breakdown."
There's no way to judge the merits of the suit just yet, but those are some serious allegations. We've emailed AA for a response, and we'll update if we get one. If you know anything more about the facts of this case, email me.
UPDATE: American Apparel has released the following statement:
"We have been informed today that Irene Morales, a former employee of American Apparel who left the company without complaint and resigned with a letter of gratitude regarding her positive experience at the company, has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in New York against the company. Upon her resignation, Ms. Morales acknowledged in writing that she had no pending claims against the company and signed a severance agreement which included a full release of claims and an agreement to submit any future claims to confidential binding arbitration. All American Apparel's employees are subject to the same confidential arbitration agreement signed by Ms. Morales in order to protect the privacy interests of employees and former employees, and to prevent predatory plaintiffs and their attorneys from attempting to use the media to extort the company. Such an arbitration process was initiated by the company against Ms. Morales several weeks ago. The company intends to file a formal complaint with the NY state bar seeking disciplinary action against Ms. Morales' lawyers who we believe are engaged in an illegal conspiracy to extort money from American Apparel. We are very confident that Ms. Morales' claims will be promptly referred by the court to confidential binding arbitration where her claims and the company's counter-claims will be resolved, we believe fully in favor of the company."
[Photo via Getty]