Dov Charney to Take Legal Action Against American Apparel

The suspended CEO says that the company is staging a “hateful” campaign against him, and he's ready to fight.
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Alyssa Vingan Klein
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The suspended CEO says that the company is staging a “hateful” campaign against him, and he's ready to fight.
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

We can't say we didn't see this coming: Dov Charney, who was stripped of his CEO title at American Apparel last week, is seeking legal action against the company that he founded in 1998. 

The disgruntled Charney spoke to the Financial Times after his ousting — which was on the grounds of alleged financial and interpersonal misconduct — claiming that the board of directors at American Apparel is staging a "hateful campaign" against him and his character, and he's prepared to fight to get his job back. 

According to the FT, Charney filed a complaint with Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday that contests his dismissal from the company, and he announced that if he's not granted his job back, he will seek between $23 million and $25 million in severance pay for what he believes to be a wrongful firing.

Charney, who owns a 27 percent stake in American Apparel, also states that many of the allegations against him that are listed in his termination letter — which was leaked to BuzzFeed on Sunday — are completely false. "I think it’s highly unusual that a board – any board – would indulge in such a hateful PR campaign against its founder," he told the paper. "I think it’s grotesque. It’s a lash-out that stems from a false place due to a lack of research into the work I’ve been doing over the last year."

American Apparel has publicly struggled with its finances over the last few years, and though the Board of Directors doesn't deny that Charney's work for the company has been admirable (namely his restructuring efforts), it is standing firm by the allegations listed in the termination letter.