When news broke yesterday of a former American Apparel employee's $260 million lawsuit against CEO Dov Charney for allegedly sexually harassing her and forcing her into sex, the initial reports left out the accuser's name. But this is a civil suit, not a criminal rape case, and the plaintiff's name is public record. A.A. itself named her in its statement, saying that she'd signed a severance agreement when she left the company agreeing not to sue them.
So, Irene Morales, 20, the former employee, apparently figures she might as well speak up. She's already posed for pictures in her lawyer's office for both of the New York tabloids. She told the NY Daily News:
"[I] believed I would work in a professional environment where promotions and work advancement would be based on merit and hard work," she said. "I was extremely devastated to find out that was not the case."
She didn't read enough Gawker, clearly. Her lawyer says that she's still considering filing criminal charges; the company, so far, has said that it thinks Morales' entire suit is improper because of the forms she signed on her way out the door. This will truly be a trial by media. If Morales and her attorney can bring enough bad PR to bear on American Apparel—a company that's still struggling for its financial life—then the company might decide that a hefty (though not $260 million hefty, obviously) settlement is in its best interests. By the same token, Morales shouldn't be surprised if any incriminating evidence floating around about her starts popping up in the media as well. Those things happen when you start throwing around numbers so big. We'll leave you with this detail from the lawsuit, to ruminate upon:
The lawsuit claims the abuse continued for the next eight months. Mr Charney allegedly gave Miss Morales a ‘large dildo sex toy' and was ‘induced' to visit her employer's Los Angeles home in the summer of last year where ‘she was subjected to extreme psychological abuse and torment,' said the documents.