Add another lawsuit to the volley of legal filings between American Apparel Inc. and its founder and former chief executive, Dov Charney.
On Friday, Charney sued the retailer and former board member David Danziger in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleging that they defamed him to prevent him from winning the necessary votes to reclaim control of the Los Angeles company.
American Apparel ousted Charney as chairman and suspended him as chief executive last June, citing evidence of misuse of company funds and inappropriate behavior with employees. He was removed from the latter position in December.
For much of the last year, the two sides have traded barbs and lawsuits. Charney’s attorney, Keven Steinberg, called the back-and-forth a “continuing epic battle for control.”
American Apparel called Friday’s complaint “yet another example of the habitual nuisance lawsuits that Dov Charney and his lawyer continue to file, and which we continue to defeat."
The latest lawsuit stems from Danziger's discovery last June that Charney had allied himself with Swiss firm FiveT Capital, then the company’s second largest shareholder, according to Friday’s filing.
Danziger and others at American Apparel plotted to smear Charney by telling FiveT that Charney had engaged in criminal activity, Charney alleges. FiveT eventually withdrew its support of Charney, according to the complaint.
“The acts upon which this lawsuit are premised highlight just some of the premeditated and deliberate acts that the board members of American Apparel engaged in to kick Charney out of the company he founded and grew to international prominence,” Steinberg said.
Danziger did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Earlier this week, he relinquished his board seat and will be replaced by Chief Executive Paula Schneider.
Last month, Charney filed a defamation lawsuit against the company and Chairwoman Colleen Brown, alleging that Brown falsely informed American Apparel employees that Charney had agreed in writing never to return to the company in any capacity.