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Yesterday evening, Rubenstein PR emailed out a statement from Eric Baum, the attorney for the former American Apparel employee who accused CEO Dov Charney of repeatedly forcing her into sex. The employee, Irene Morales, hasn't pressed criminal charges, instead opting to sue Charney for $260 million. American Apparel responded to the lawsuit in part by threatening to file a complaint about Baum with the New York state bar, accusing him of "an illegal conspiracy to extort money from American Apparel."
Here's Baum's reply:
Instead of responding to the very serious charges that have been made against the company, its CEO and Board of Directors, American Apparel is instead trying to shift the focus of this case by making irresponsible allegations against the victim's attorneys. We believe the arbitration agreement they point to is improper and unenforceable and designed only to silence Ms. Morales. We strongly believe this case should be heard by a jury.As Gawker points out, the civil nature of the case means it's probably going to wind up being "a trial by media." Morales's team has an incentive to ratchet up their PR in order to push American Apparel into settling, while AA has an incentive to dig up dirt on a possible rape victim. And the fact that Baum is already issuing statements through a major PR agency suggests that he does indeed view this as a media war. Conclusion: This is going to get ugly, and fast.
· More Details Emerge in American Apparel Sex Slave Suit [Racked NY]
· American Apparel Responds to $250 Million Sexual Assault Suit [Racked NY]
· The Media War Begins in the Dov Charney Sex Lawsuit [Gawker]