US: American Apparel CEO faces lawsuit over accusations of homophobic slurs and choking
The CEO of popular high street fashion store, American Apparel, faces legal action from a former branch manager, who says he was subjected to homophobic slurs, was choked, and had dirt rubbed in his face.
A former employee has filed a lawsuit against the company’s CEO, Dov Charney, which says that he was subjected to homophobic slurs, that Mr Charney choked him “with both hands,” and that he had dirt rubbed in his face whilst working at the company, reports NY Daily News.
According to the papers filed, Michael Bumblis, 24, of Inglewood, California, was sacked from American Apparel in July 2012, after working there for three years. It says he was asked to leave after he tried to complain about Mr Charney through internal channels.
The lawsuit, filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, says that Mr Bumblis was accused by Mr Charney of working for a rival company during a phone call in April, during which Mr Charney said: “you’re an fucking long-haired wannabe Jew.”
The CEO allegedly said to Mr Bumblis that the sales in his branch were not strong, and told him to “get your fucking shit together.”
The alleged assault took place shortly afterwards, during an argument over inventory, the papers said.
The lawsuit said that Mr Charney “dove” at Mr Bumblis, and squeezed his throat, “in an attempt to choke and strangle him,” during which Mr Bumblis “tried to pry” Mr Charney’s hand free from his neck.
The papers go on to say that, in a later incident, Mr Charney grabbed some dirt, and rubbed it into Mr Bumblis’ face, causing his “head and neck to snap backwards.”
The company has stood by its decision to dismiss Mr Bumblis, and its attorney, Peter Schey, said the accusations against its CEO in the lawsuit were “contrived and untrue”.