An update from this morning’s fun news about Maxim magazine’s new direction: the publication and its millionaire owner Sardar Bilgari are suing two of its former employees for anonymously speaking to the New York Post for a highly unflattering story about Biglari’s behavior towards Alessandra Ambrosio during the latter’s cover shoot for the magazine.
Politico Media reports that Maxim is suing Jason Feifer and (former Fashion Director) Wayne Gross for talking to the Post about Biglari and telling the publication that he essentially forced his way into the photo shoot and made Ambrosio uncomfortable. After that piece was published, it was amended slightly to downplay his behavior, but apparently those revisions were not enough.
Gross was sued first, in December, but denied that he was the leak. Feifer—who was not at the photo shoot, but it’s alleged that Gross told him about it and he conveyed that intel to the Post—then admitted he was. But instead of removing Gross from the suit, Maxim and Biglari’s lawyers are arguing that they both should pay.
Through their conduct and False Statements, Defendants have injured Maxim and its goodwill. Biglari has been actively involved in re-branding Maxim magazine, which is Maxim’s flagship publication. Moreover, through Biglari, Maxim has expended considerable effort to re-invigorate Maxim magazine and to attract high-quality photographers and well-known models, figures and actors to provide their services to it.
Through their false statements, Defendants have also caused Biglari reputational and professional harm. Moreover, Defendants acted with actual malice, and so Plaintiff Biglari is entitled to an award of punitive as well as compensatory damages.
Photographer and new Maxim employee Gilles Bensimon has also gone on the record a second time since the Post piece was updated to deny the behavior attributed to Biglari.
But Bensimon, who directed the shoot, told POLITICO Media that it was his idea — not Biglari’s — for the two to pose together. It had nothing to do with Biglari’s ownership of the magazine, he said. He just wanted a man to accompany Ambrosio in one of the photos.
“I look and I need a man on this picture because I don’t want the picture to be just her. It’s a double-page and I want to tell a story about the girl in Monte Carlo ... we would need somebody to show Monte Carlo, luxury,” he said.
Since he was pressed for time, he just went with the “good-looking” Biglari, who happened to be nearby, having volunteered his own hotel suite as the setting for the photoshoot.
Bottom line: do not work for Maxim. Do read this nuts story about why you should not work for Maxim.
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Image via Maxim