Robert Duffy Sued, Accused Of Keeping Employee Sex Book, Forcing Worker To Pole-Dance
Times are tough for Marc Jacobs President Robert Duffy.
Over the weekend, one of the brand's interns had a meltdown on Twitter, calling Duffy a "tyrant," and now he -- along with parent group LVMH -- is being sued by former chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Marc Jacobs International Patrice Lataillade, Women's Wear Daily reports. Lataillade claims he was "subjected to a discriminatory environment offensive to him" and was "fired in retaliation for objecting to that environment."
What type of environment? The fashion newspaper explains:
According to the lawsuit, examples of the hostile work environment included Duffy's "production and dissemination of a book that included photos of MJI staff in sexual positions or nude" and "Duffy's use of a nude photograph for a billboard advertisement," among other charges.
The suit also alleges that Duffy "uses company funds for personal expenses and does not censor what he does or says."
The New York Post adds that Duffy once forced a Marc Jacobs store employee to "perform a pole dance for him," according to the complaint. From the time Lataillade started working at Marc Jacobs in 2002, there were several sexual harassment cases brought or floated against Duffy. The Post writes:
His conduct was so well-known, the filing says, that when the company's human resources department drew up a sexual harassment policy last year, they didn't actually disseminate it "because of a concern that it would anger Duffy," who co-founded the company with Jacobs.
Lataillade said he "complained about Duffy's behavior and requested, on numerous occasions, that Duffy's creation of a sexually charged workplace be stopped," but "nothing was done," 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.
An LVMH spokesman denied all allegations to WWD and the case is expected to be heard in New York State court. Jacobs, himself, is supposedly not named in the suit.