A former employee is suing Dov Charney, the controversial head of American Apparel, for $250 million for allegedly sexual harassing her and then forcing her to sleep with him the day she turned 18 in order to keep her job.
Irene Morales, who’s now 20, was an employee at an American Apparel in the Chelsea neighborhood of NYC. Morales claims that when she was 17, Charney told her she’d be fired if she didn’t send him naked pictures of herself and dish details about her sex life to him. She also claims he told her she’d lose her job at the store if she didn’t sleep with him on her 18th birthday. Well, at least the dude has respect for ONE law.
Despite all of this, Morales still didn’t quit her job at the American Apparel store, although she took a leave of absence in 2008 for a “nervous breakdown.” And on her 18th birthday, she actually showed up at Charney’s apartment as he had asked. She says Charney greeted her in his underwear and then forced her to perform a number of sex acts. Charney then allegedly demanded sex in exchange for Morales’ continued employment, and eventually, she finally quit. She’s now suing the company.
American Apparel is responding by telling Morales’ lawyers they’re violating the contract Morales signed when she quit AA, which said she would have to undergo any arbritation confidentially. That’s their whole defense? Really?
While it’s clear Morales should have quit American Apparel earlier, in my opinion (there are plenty of retail jobs out there!), nothing excuses this creep’s behavior. The fact that he’s also been the target of several other sexual harassment lawsuits from American Apparel employees only cements my belief that I won’t be too distraught if AA goes under in light of its slumping sales.
What do you think?