Dov Charney told the New York Times he has no comment on how nude photos of several women who are suing him for sexual harassment ended up on blogs with phrases like, "Give me $250 million NOW!" and "I LOVE THAT I CAN WASTE YOUR TAX DOLLARS WITH THESE FAKE LAWSUITS." But now, he may have to explain himself in court. The L.A. Times reports that this week Irene Morales, Alyssa Ferguson, and Tesa Lubans-Dehaven filed a new lawsuit against American Apparel, Charney, and a company photographer Kyung Chung for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and impersonation online.
The suit accuses Charney and the company of setting up three fake blogs in their names to discredit them after they filed the sexual harassment suits in March. The blogs feature nude photos of the women in sexual poses and comments that make it sound like they were "admitting to an unlawful scheme of extortion ... which they were not." They say they were forced to pose for the photos during company shoots, according to Reuters.
Charney and American Apparel are also accused of releasing photos of the women to news outlets, including The L.A. Times, The New York Times, and The New York Post without their permission. In addition to the invasion of privacy and defamation charges, the suit claims Charney violated a California law that makes it illegal to impersonate someone online to inflict harm or commit fraud.
Charney's lawyer, Peter Schey, said he's reviewing the new suit and called the sexual harassment claims, "contrived and baseless," adding that they were filed to "garner media attention in an effort to force quick cash settlements." The company hasn't issued a response yet, but earlier it called sexy photos of Kimbra Lo, another woman who accused Charney of sexual assault, a "smoking gun." Perhaps the "smoking gun" will prove Charney smeared his accusers and made a habit of sexually harassing employees.