Image business of fashion: Robert Duffy
According to Styleite, there’s some trouble brewing for Marc Jacobs long-time business partner Robert Duffy.
Former chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Marc Jacobs International is suing the company, its president Robert Duffy, and parent companyLVMH. The suit, filed in New York on Wednesday by Patrice Lataillade alleges that “Duffy created a hostile work environment by forcing employees to look at gay porn, making a store employee perform a pole dance, using company money for personal expenses, and producing a book featuring photos of staff in sexual positions.”
Lataillade began working for MJI in 2002 as its CEO and was promoted to COO in 2006. Lataillade was later fired this past September. According to court documents, his compensation at the time was $1 million. In the suit, Lataillade said he was “fired in retaliation for objecting” to a “discriminatory” and “offensive” work environment.
The suit, which does not mention Marc Jacobs also alleges several other employees had complained about Duffy’s behavior, but with very little success.
According to The New York Post, “During that time, “there have been sexual harassment cases threatened or brought against defendants based on Duffy’s conduct. Because Duffy (correctly) believed that he would not be punished for his conduct, it grew increasingly worse,” the suit says.
Duffy’s alleged victims also didn’t have much success with their complaints, with the company lawyer telling a young female employee she needed a “thicker skin” and a male employee to “go home early and have a drink,” the suit says.”
Lataillade says he complained about Duffy’s behavior on numerous occasions but “nothing was done” and that “less than a week” after his lawyers sent an email to MJI’s ceo and LVMH “summarizing the legal situation and the hostile environment”, he was fired. According to MJI, Lataillade was fired for “cause per his employment contract.”
Of course, there are always several sides to a story; an LVMH spokesman told WWD; “The allegations contained in the complaint are false. Patrice Lataillade was terminated as chief financial officer and chief operating officer of MJI for serious matters unrelated to the allegations contained in the complaint. MJI, LVMH Inc. and Robert Duffy will vigorously defend the case in court.”
The complaints surrounding Duffy however don’t seem to be in Duffy’s favor. Until someone is hired to take over their Twitter acount, an intern has had the responsibility of tweeting. Apparently, the intern had a melt-down recently, tweeting several astonishing tweets about Duffy (which have since been taken down).
Thanks to the Daily Mail, here’s a look at the tweets:
You guys and gals have no idea how difficult Robert is. I am only an intern. My last day is tomorrow. I wouldn’t be tweeting this if not!
I was asked to do this until we found a replacement… I hate this job. Hope they find someone soon. Robert is so picky! We have presented him with 50 people. He’s not happy.
Good luck! I pray for you all. If you get the job! I’m out of here. See ya! Son’t want to be ya! Roberts a tyrant! Seriously! He is tough!
I can call him out! I’m out! Won’t work in this town again! I know that! Learned a lot. But, I don’t have the energy for what is expected!
Yea, walk in my MJ shoes! Don’t judge me! I’m alone in this office having to try and entertain you all. This isn’t easy. I have tried. Done!
Brutal. In an attempt to do damage control, the brand tweeted : “All is well here at MJ. Twitter is a crazy place. Protect your passwords.” and “Things are crazy in the twittersphere. Never let your phone too far out of sight.” So I suppose they’re placing the blame on a “hacker”. Hmmmm thoughts?