LOS ANGELES (CN) - Fashion mogul Dov Charney tried to strangle an employee, smeared his face with dirt, called him a "fag" and a "Jew," and fired him after he tried to file a complaint, the man claims in court.
Michael Bumblis sued Charney and American Apparel Retail in Superior Court.
Charney has been sued at least 25 times in recent years, according to the Courthouse News database. Many of the lawsuits were from employees who allege sexual harassment, sometimes in crude forms. Several shareholder class actions have been filed against Charney and his company.
In his complaint, Bumblis claims Charney "has a well known, long and unenviable reputation for aggressive, erratic, inappropriate, and harassing behavior towards others, including AA's employees. Charney's exploits and bizarre behavior have been highly publicized and were subject of extensive media coverage, including, inter alia, a June 2004 article in 'Jane' magazine, for which he infamously masturbated in front of the female reporter, an expose on ABC's 20/20 in December of 2005, and more recently in an article in the April 13, 2011 New York Times fashion & Style section, to name just a few. Charney's behavior and proclivities were, accordingly, well known to AA, its officers and directors, and are the subject of multiple prior lawsuits and sworn declarations by former employees of AA who have allege[d] that they were harassed, assaulted and discriminated against by Charney," the complaint states.
Bumblis claims he started working at American Apparel on March 26, 2009 as a retail associate, and was quickly promoted to manager of the company's Malibu location.
He claims Charney saw him working at a booth for another clothing retailer at a fashion convention in Las Vegas on Feb. 13, 2012.
On April 3 in the evening, Bumblis says, Charney called him and "launched into an expletive ridden diatribe, stating the following: 'What the fuck are you thinking?! Taking your best seller out of your store when you have negative same store sales.' Charney went on to scream: 'You should have been fucking fired months ago; I told Spring to go ahead and fire your ass but she said you had been improving. You're wasting your time with that no-name fucking company. American Apparel teaches you how to run a business like no college can ever teach. You're a fucking Jew! You should know, you are a fucking long hair wanna be Jew. Get your fucking shit together, fag. Where is your fucking creativity? Get some fucking girls in bikinis to stand on PCH and have them waive [sic] a fucking American flag. Are you a fag? Do you not want to see girls in bikinis? Are you banging that girl you were with in Vegas? What's her name?'" according to the complaint.
Bumblis says in the complaint that he told Charney that "he was not having relations with or 'banging'" the woman, J. He claims: "Charney then went on: 'I thought for sure you are banging her! You must be a fucking fag! What's her number?'
"Before he hung up, Charney instructed plaintiff to text him J's number. Thereafter, Charney began texting J suggestively."
Three and a half weeks later, on April 29, Bumblis says, Charney attacked him during an inspection of the Malibu store, which was being renovated.