A young woman is accusing the founder of the American Apparel clothing chain of forcing her to have sex with him for the better part of a year. The woman is suing Dov Charney for $260 million.
According to a report in the New York Daily News, 20-year-old Irene Morales started working at a store in Manhattan as a salesgirl, eventually rising to store manager. She said when she turned 18, Charney invited her to his apartment, where she claimed Charney forced her to perform sex acts on him.
"She was then, to all intents and purposes, held prisoner in the apartment for several hours and forced to perform additional sexual acts," her lawsuit said.
The suit said Charney's advances actually began when Morales was 17. Charney allegedly demanded nude photos of her, "making it clear her employment would be forfeited if she did not comply," the suit said.
Her lawyer Eric Baum said the forced sex lasted eight months until Morales finally resigned. He told the News she didn't quit sooner because "she was promised job advancement. She was young. She needed the job."
Baum said Morales didn't report the allegations right away because of "trauma and shame."
American Apparel dismissed the claims. Attorney Peter Schey predicted the case "will be resolved, we believe, fully in favor of the company."
He pointed out that Morales "resigned with a letter of gratitude regarding her positive experience at the company." He said she also signed an agreement not to sue the company, that any claims she might have would be settled through an arbitrator.
The suit also names the company and its board of directors, claiming they knew about Charney's behavior and simply ignored it.