American Apparel CEO Being Sued, Possibly Facing Criminal Charges

Let’s face it, in general American Apparel CEO Dov Charney is not a winner. Not only are his thoughts on feminism pretty appalling, but he’s also been taken to task over AA’s hiring practices and sizing policy. Oh, and then there’s all those times he’s been accused of sexual harassment.

And now? Let’s add “accused of sexual assault” to the list.

Irene Morales, who worked at the store when she was 17 years old, has filed a lawsuit against Charney alleging that he sexually assaulted her multiple times during her tenure at American Apparel.

The harrassment began with Charney “telling her that she would be fired if she did not detail her sexual history, engage in “increasingly explicit” sexual functions and send him sexually explicit pictures, according to the lawsuit.” The stress led Morales to suffer a nervous breakdown and spend time in the hospital, following which she returned to her job at American Apparel.

However, on her 18th birthday? Charney allegedly took things further.

WARNING: The information below could be potentially triggering. Even if you’re not triggered, trust me, it’s REALLY disgusting.

She says in court papers that in April 2008, when she was 18, Charney invited her to his Manhattan pad, opened the door wearing only his briefs and “forced her to go down on her knees just inside the front door and perform fellatio upon him.”

He then threw her on the bed and made her repeat the same sex act, “nearly suffocating her in the process,” the suit says.

“She was then, to all intents and purposes, held prisoner in the apartment for several hours and forced to perform additional sexual acts,” the suit says.

The forced sex lasted eight months until Morales resigned under pressure, her lawyer, Eric Baum, said yesterday.

“She was promised job advancement,” he said when asked why his client didn’t quit earlier. “She was young. She needed the job.”

American Apparel has released a statement saying they will be contesting this because Morales signed papers during her resignation saying she had no outstanding issues with the company and would not sue them. Notice how they don’t claim they’re contesting it because it didn’t happen. Yeah, nothing about how the allegations have no truth to them. Just “She said she wouldn’t do this!!!!” Uh…huh.

Morales has stated that she didn’t go to the police sooner because she was scared and ashamed. This is not surprising, even when the alleged assailant isn’t famous many rapes go unreported. According to RAINN, 60% of rapes/sexual assaults are never reported to the police. Maybe this is because even if a rape IS reported, the odds of a conviction are in the rapist’s favor:

That’s really, really gross.