sexual harassment

Dov Charney Says Having Sex With Co-Workers Is ‘Unavoidable’

Charney. Photo: Gary Friedman/LA Times via Getty Images

Dov Charney is hard at work on his new brand, Los Angeles Apparel, which by some strange coincidence is almost indistinguishable from his old one. And despite being kicked out of American Apparel in the wake of a misconduct investigation, being accused of a variety of abusive behavior, and coming under fire for openly masturbating in front of a reporter, Charney’s attitude seems to be unchanged, too.

In an interview with The Guardian, Charney defends his actions, telling reporter Hadley Freeman that “sleeping with people you work with is UNAVOIDABLE!” He also details questionable relationships with at least two women he employs, telling Freeman that there’s a “connection” between him and a young woman he filmed for Instagram bending over in a thong leotard, and saying that he asked an intern to try on a pair of underwear in front of him:

“She wore this underwear in front of me,” he says. “It’s not incendiary, it’s not inflammatory, it’s totally normal.”

But it is sexy, presumably.

“It is! I mean, have fun, try on the underwear. I’m not unfit, you know.”

“Look, I’m not going to be a victim of sex-shame tactics,” he said when asked about the Instagram video. “This obsession that I should be punished for the advertising is fascistic and anti-woman. I will express myself as I always have done.”

During the interview, Charney — who has a long and litigious history connected to his time at American Apparel — insisted that the company’s former board made up many of the issues surrounding his firing because they “wanted control.” But Allan Mayer, the former board co-chairman, told another story: “When we were able to conduct a forensic investigation, we found videos and emails from him on the company server that, well, to call them inappropriate would be an understatement,” he said.

Yet Charney sees nothing inappropriate in his behavior. “I think my real mistake was that I was too trusting,” he said. “I should have removed some of the board members.”

Dov Charney Says Having Sex With Co-Workers Is ‘Unavoidable’