A group of women who sued American Apparel CEO Dov Charney for numerous counts of sexual abuse are fighting back against allegations that they were never assaulted in the first place. And how? By suing Dov Charney and American Apparel again, this time for defamation, emotional distress, invasion of privacy and online impersonation.
Reuters reports that Irene Morales, who initially sued Charney for $250 million in damages for forcing her to be his personal sex slave while she managed one of his stores, has been joined by Alyssa Ferguson and Tesa Lubans-Dehaven, who say that the company leaked naked photos of them online. Their suit claims the photos were put on personal-style blogs that appear that these women lied about the nature of their relationships with Charney. While not all of the photos are nude, many of them show the women in compromising positions. Some are accompanied by text messages or emails suggesting that the women took and sent these photos to Charney willingly. The photos and messages are supposed to serve as a “smoking gun” that supports Charney’s claim that these women chased after him.
In one blog post attributed to Ferguson, the lawsuit said, a photo caption read, “Partying in NY with Tesa Lubans after filing our lawsuit.” The posts also made it appear as if the women were admitting that their lawsuits against Charney and American Apparel were an “extortion” scheme “brewed up with some third-rate lawyer from Jersey,” the lawsuit said.
Ferguson and Lubans-Dehaven filed their lawsuit with Kimbra Lo, another American Apparel employee, shortly after Morales’ lawsuit was tabled by a New York judge. American Apparel employees are required to sign arbitration agreements, ensuring that any outstanding issues outgoing emloyees have with the company can be settled behind closed doors, and Morales didn’t do that. With cases like this one, the policy safeguards the company from having to shell out a lot of money or endure any public embarrassment.
But with a CEO who freely admits to sexual relationships with his employees (if not to raping them), how could American Apparel possibly avoid that?