American Apparel founder Dov Charney has started a new wholesale clothing company called Los Angeles Apparel.
Charney started the company late last year, two years after he was forced out of American Apparel by his own board and other investors in the company. His removal came after a string of sexual harassment allegations lodged against him by several of his own employees.
Charney has consistently denied their claims. Some of those claims were settled by American Apparel’s insurance company against Charney’s will, and others were settled only on allegations that did not relate to sexual harassment.
In a new interview with Bloomberg’s Matthew Townsend, Charney was asked whether he is “going down the same path at Los Angeles Apparel and hooking up with employees.”
Charney deflected the question and didn’t deny any sexual involvement with workers. Instead he responded cryptically, “That question is private, and it should be private.”
When asked if he’s being “more careful,” he said,”You always have to be cautious in the lawsuit society that we’re in, you know. … I love the company, and I love the people I work with. We’re very close and we’re holding hands and walking through the fire. We intend to be successful.”
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Charney has never been charged or convicted for sexual harassment claims against him in any court of law.
American Apparel previously settled cases with four models who claimed they had been harassed or sexually assaulted by Charney. The company paid a sum of $3.4 million to two models, according to court papers filed by the company. The other settlements were confidential.
In 2015, after Charney had already left American Apparel, the company’s board accused him of violating company policies prohibiting harassment and retaliation against former employees.
“The company discovered voluminous evidence of Mr. Charney’s sexual liaisons with employees and models,” the company said in court papers.
Charney was also accused of using ethnic slurs against workers and keeping videos on a company server of himself engaging in sex acts with models and employees. Charney denies these accusations.
In response, Charney filed a defamation lawsuit against the company that was later dismissed.
“The company had wanted to sell the company underneath me and rehashed distorted allegations into the media so they could distract the company and successfully hijack control of the company,” Charney told Business Insider.
He is in the process of suing former American Apparel officials over claims that they conspired to push him out of the company.