Heather Thomson—who recently quit Real Housewives of New York to focus on her fashion brand, Yummie by Heather Thomson—is embroiled in a months-long lawsuit with Yummie’s manager, whom her lawyer says has “irreparably damaged” the company.
Law360 reports that Thomson filed suit to remove Eric Rothfeld, who owns a 49 percent stake, as the company’s manager. The company was founded through a $1 million loan from Rothfeld’s REI Capital, which Thomson’s legal team claims has been repaid; according to the complaint, the terms of the financing deal would allow Rothfeld to be replaced once repayment took place. But Rothfeld refused to step down, so Thomson filed suit.
Women’s Wear Daily reports that Thomson’s legal claims include “Rothfeld being unqualified to be manager, his fraudulently marking down inventory, blocking factory orders and failing to submit financial statements to Wells Fargo.” Entertainment Tonight reported in October that Rothfeld refused to allow RHONY cameras in the Yummie building, and sent the following email to employees:
“Effective immediately, under no circumstances are you to spend any time discussing or working with Heather on Rhony [sic],” Rothfeld wrote. “No samples should be provided to Heather for Rhony and Rhony is not authorized to film in our offices. Also, there is to be no Company money to be spent for Rhony.”
According to the Law360 report, Thomson’s claims against Rothfeld also include the creation of a “toxic work environment,” and that he “has made decisions which are harmful to the company based upon his personal animus toward Thomson and her husband.”
The judge said she understands that “the principals hate each other,” but urged both sides to sit down and mediate the dispute, saying it would be a faster and more-cost effective solution.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how much is owed to whom,” she said.
According to WWD, Thomson’s attorney said on Friday:
“We are confident that ultimately, we are going to prevail in court, if there is not a settlement. But we are concerned that by the time the court rules, the company could be irreparably damaged by Rothfeld’s management.”
A source for WWD reports that Thomson has not been paid for 18 months. The article adds that “She, her husband and Daray are said to have exited the company,” and that Thomson is said to be considering a return to the Real Housewives.
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