Just weeks after a woman sued Dov Charney for allegedly forcing her to have sex with him, four more women have filed a lawsuit against the American Apparel CEO, accusing him of sexual harassment. This is the song that never ends.
As we've learned from previous cases, the company makes new employees sign arbitration and confidentiality agreements when they're hired, which conveniently prevents them from publicly suing him. Due to these contracts, three of the women named in the suit, Alyssa Ferguson, Marissa Wilson and Tesa Lubans-Dehaven, haven't made public their accusations against Charney.
However, 19-year-old Kimbra Lo quit her job as an American Apparel sales associate seven months before her particular incident, so she's free to discuss her claims with The New York Times. Lo tells the paper that in December, she went to Charney's home in Los Angeles to talk about being hired as a model and photographer. The Times reports:
In the interview, Ms. Lo claimed that Mr. Charney, wrapped in a towel, invited her to his bedroom to talk about a job. Once there, she said he undressed her and tried to have sex. Ms. Lo said she sought to resist but was afraid, and that he tried to take photographs.
Ms. Lo said Mr. Charney did not harass her when she was an employee. After she left, though, and was pursuing modeling opportunities, she said Mr. Charney sent her sexually explicit text messages and asked her for photographs for potential assignments.
The paper notes, "Mr. Charney has said he often holds meetings in his bedroom." Much like the confidentiality agreements, which an employment lawyer says are unusual and, "a red flag," we'd say this is a good sign Charney's created an unprofessional work environment, to say the very least.
Of course, Charney says he's the victim here:
"I think all of these claims are contrived," said Peter Schey, Mr. 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."
Since 2004, more than a dozen people have accused Charney of preying on his employees and creating an inappropriately sexual atmosphere at his company. As in the most recent lawsuit brought by Irene Morales, who says Charney forced her into sexual activity for a period of eight months, several cases have been derailed by the arbitration agreement. But Lo wasn't actually working for Charney during the alleged incident, so there's a chance that this time Dov won't be able to weasel his way out of the suit so easily.