On Thursday morning, it was revealed that American Apparel’s controversial CEO and founder Dov Charney was removed “for cause” by the company’s board. The firing was the result of an internal investigation into alleged misconduct by Charney, reports CNN.
During his tenure at American Apparel, Charney had become known for his questionable behavior and eccentric personality. He’s faced multiple sexual harassment suits as well as criticism for the company’s risqué advertisements, which often feature male and female models in revealing garments and sexual poses.
Speaking with Marketplace in January, Charney said pushing boundaries is one of his biggest goals in life. “It’s important that in every generation, there are going to be certain people that push boundaries. And those are my people," he said.
But he may have pushed just a little too far, leading to his ouster at the company he founded in 1998.
In the same Marketplace interview, Charney said he is “own worst enemy” and that he “was born strange.” And as the speculation continues around the reasoning for his removal from his CEO role, we’ve assembled four of the strangest things Don Charney has done during his time at American Apparel:
Working In His Undies
Former American Apparel employees, and even Dov Charney himself, have made reference to his next-to-nothing office attire. In the past he’s been accused of leading company meetings in his underwear, and running through an AA factory in his skivvies. He’s even admitted that he often drops his pants to show off new merchandise he’s working on.
Multiple Sexual Harassment Allegations
Charney’s time at American Apparel has been marked by several sexual harassment lawsuits from former employees. According to Business Insider, Charney was at one time facing seven different sexual harassment cases from either female staff members or models that worked with the company. One of the most well-known cases was that of Irene Morales, an AA employee who claimed she was forced to be Charney’s sex slave in his Los Angeles apartment. In other lawsuits, Charney was accused of intimidating employees into posing for revealing photos and demanding sexual favors from a former employee in return for keeping her job. Many of the suits have been dismissed, but Charney has admitted to dating employees.
Pleasuring Himself During Jane Magazine Interview
One of Charney's most bizarre moments came when he masturbated in front of Jane magazine reporter Claudine Ko in 2004. In her story, the reporter says he pleasured himself ‘eight or so times’ as they discussed “things like business, models, hiring practices and the stupidity of focus groups.”
"Masturbation in front of women is underrated," Charney later told the reporter over a follow-up phone interview. "It's much easier on the woman. She gets to watch, it's a sensual experience that doesn't involve a man violating a woman, yet once the man has his release, it's over and you can talk to the guy."
Offensive Remarks About American Apparel Employees
Charney has been accused of calling female employees ‘sluts’ and ‘whores.’ And in a videotaped deposition, he defended himself from the accusations by explaining that ‘some of us love sluts’ and ‘it could also be an endearing term.’ He also knocked AA’s CFO Ken Cieply in a Wall Street Journal interview, calling him a “complete loser.” Cieply resigned from his position after the interview was published.