Dov Charney Likens Himself To Michael Jackson, Says He Has A Fan Club

04/06/2011 10:09 am ET | Updated Jun 06, 2011

Instead of laying low (no pun intended) amid sexual harassment lawsuits and threats of bankruptcy, American Apparel CEO Dov Charney has been making the media rounds. And wouldn't you know it -- he's just a little misunderstood.

In a sit-down with the Village Voice, Charney mentioned others who have had career disruptions and come out better on the other side, like Pee-Wee Herman ("What did he do? Played with himself in a dirty theater? That's what those theaters are for, I thought") and this other guy you might have heard of, Charlie Sheen.

How do you deal with your bad reputation?

​I don't know if my reputation is bad. I mean, you're free to say that. I don't know if it's for sure that one could stamp "bad reputation" on my forehead. There's a class of people who don't think Michael Jackson was guilty of some of the things he was accused of. Not everybody believes what they read. The media -- there's a nasty streak in the media. They succumb to stereotype. You know, I find myself reading stories that are salacious. What are you going to do? I know of many people that are excited to meet me and tell me that they're inspired by me. It's kind of interesting because there are so many people that admire what I do. I have a very large following.

Among who?

I have academics that call me frequently and write me. I have employees that are extremely loyal to what I do -- my mission. I have fans.

And earlier this week, Charney talked to CNN. When asked if he thought it was appropriate for a 40-year-old man (like possibly himself) to fraternize with 19-year-old girls, he responded, "I don't think...I'm not qualified to make an opinion of that kind."

The reporter also wanted to know what it was like to be called "a pervert." CNN, always with the hard-hitting questions!


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