Ousted Marc Jacobs International CFO Patrice Lataillade is barreling ahead in his lawsuit against his former employer. Lataillade and his lawyers said in court papers filed Wednesday that the company’s financial misconduct countersuit is bogus, and that it skirts the real issue at hand: the sexual discrimination he suffered from the company’s president Robert Duffy.
Lataillade and his lawyers said that the company, which fired Lataillade last September, never had any trouble with his monitoring of its finances in his long tenure at Marc Jacobs International. His work was checked and rechecked not only by accountants for LVMH, the French luxury conglomerate that owns Marc Jacobs International, but also by the company’s accounting firm Deloitte and Touch. Lataillade claims he never heard a complaint about his performance, and that he was really fired for speaking out against sexual discrimination at work. Earlier court papers claim his boss, Robert Duffy, made his employees watch porn or perform pole dances upon request. Lataillade’s lawyers reiterated that when he complained, he was given the boot — and the company then had to invent a way to protect Duffy.
“Not content to fire Lataillade because he objected to a discriminatory environment, defendants have filed baseless counterclaims raising scurrilous charges of improprieties by plaintiff, an executive who was repeatedly promoted and who successfully managed significant financial and operational responsibilities during his 14-year tenure with defendants,” the court papers said.
Marc Jacobs International is sticking to its original story: that it fired Lataillade for overstating how well the company was doing in order to get higher bonuses at the end of the year. A spokesperson for the company told Women’s Wear Daily they have “ample evidence” to prove his misconduct.
“As CFO, Mr. Lataillade was responsible for the information that was made available to others at MJI and LVMH, and they relied on his statements that it was an accurate and fair view of MJI’s financial status, she continued. “We look forward to demonstrating this and vigorously pursuing our case in court.”
We here at Styleite look forward to vigorously following this story — and we can’t wait to see what the courts decide.