The president of fashion label Marc Jacobs is being sued by its former chief operating officer

Patrice Lataillade claims that company president Robert Duffy made staff watch gay porn, ordered an employee to pole-dance for him and treated the firm as his own private bank account.

A suit filed in a Manhattan court last week claims that there was a “discriminatory environment” at Marc Jacobs International (MJI), which is part of the LVMH luxury group.

Mr Lataillade, who is straight, says he was fired last September after complaining about the “sexually charged” atmosphere at the company.

His suit says: “Examples of Duffy’s conduct which created a hostile work environment include his displaying gay pornography in the office and requiring employees to look at it; his production and dissemination of a book which included photos of MJI staff in sexual positions or nude; [and] his requirement that an MJI store employee perform a pole dance for him.”

It also claims that Mr Duffy “uses company funds for personal expenses”, “does not censor what he does or says” and “behaves as if he has no obligation to follow LVMH’s rules of conduct or law”.

Marc Jacobs was not named in the suit.

Mr Lataillade has worked for LVHM for 14 years. His job titles have included chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Marc Jacobs.

He is seeking unspecified damages for “discrimination, retaliation and his mental anguish and humiliation” as well as lost wages and legal fees.

The company is standing by Mr Duffy and says the claims in the suit are false.

In a statement, it said: “The allegations contained in the complaint are false. Patrice Lataillade was terminated as CFO and COO of MJI for serious matters unrelated to the allegations contained in the complaint. MJI, LVMH Inc and Robert Duffy will vigorously defend the case in court.”