It’s been just about a year since American Apparel announced plans to shut down its Australian operations, and a new interview with the cult brand’s founder Dov Charney suggests the basics juggernaut’s massive collapse occurred.. well, partly because of Dov Charney himself.
Speaking to Hadley Freeman for an incisive piece in The Guardian, the infamous fashion mogul railed against what he saw as a hostile booting from American Apparel, criticising board members for cutting the former CEO loose during an investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct.
Former board co-chairman Allan Mayer had a different take. Referencing the numerous allegations of sexual harassment made by employees against Charney over the years, Meyer said “we found videos and emails from him on the company server that, well, to call them inappropriate would be an understatement.”
This is me during a sexual harassment lawsuit deposition in 2005 or 2006. I never lost any of these cases when they were fully litigated. Some of the cases were settled by insurance companies without my consent. For the record I have a zero tolerance for discrimination of any form in any of my companies.The opposing lawyer was Keith Fink. The photo above was shot in his west side office. In 2014 I actually hired him to represent me. #dovcharney #thatslosangeles #losangeles #losangelesapparel
At the core of Freeman’s piece is the need to discover if Charney’s behaviour at new operation Los Angeles Apparel differs dramatically from his reported behaviour at American Apparel. The answer is a resounding ‘no’.
In short succession, Freeman recounts Charney saying he’d only consider signing an anti-fraternisation contract “temporarily”; when asked if he was still sleeping with employees, he called the matter private, but said “sleeping with people you work with is UNAVOIDABLE [Emphasis hers]!”
It’s at this point she made the important distinction between colleagues and employees as the 45-year-old has a reported penchant for his younger charges. To Charney, sleeping with someone under his employ, who is half is age, doesn’t necessarily constitute an imbalance of power in-line with sexual misconduct.
Freeman posits that “if you are not willing to keep it zipped to pursue your dreams, you will only run so far before tripping over your trousers.”
A throw-away line about his take on Donald Trump’s “grab her by the pussy” comments reveals a bit, too: “who cares? If you recorded all the things I said about women in the past 10 days it would be no different.”
Oh, he also cracked on to Freeman until she revealed she had kids.
Read the full piece HERE.
Source: The Guardian
Image: Ann Johansson / Getty