Patrice Lataillade sued Marc Jacobs International in March, alleging that he was fired after complaining late last year about inappropriate things that went on in the office, such as company president Robert Duffy encouraging employees to pole dance. LVMH then responded last week that Lataillade was actually fired for mismanaging the company's finances; however, Duffy himself has remained silent on the entire thing, which Lataillade's lawyers argue is unacceptable.
In their response to the suit last week, LVMH lawyers said Lataillade's accusations of forced office pole dancing are false and filed a counterclaim against him for the alleged financial misconduct. WWD explains:
The counterclaim alleged Lataillade was fired because figures he provided to MJI’s board and LVMH were “overstated by several million dollars to give the appearance that budget and bonus targets had been met.”
Now Lataillade's lawyers wonder why, if their client was in fact so financially fraudulent (or sloppy), LVMH is just filing their lawsuit now. "They are contending financial issues that go as far back as 2008," one said. "It is surprising that they are denying matters as to the hostile environment when there are pictures, videos and other evidence known at the higher levels of the company.” LVMH counters that they just didn't have all the evidence of Latalliade's financial mismanagement together until now.
It is true that, when Duffy started tweeting, photos of Marc Jacobs employees holding up their shirts to show off their abs and chests in the studio did go up on the feed. The photos were later removed, but, as Anthony Weiner knows, nothing is ever really removed from the Internet. The good thing about the fashion industry is that, if and when the supposed "pictures, videos and other evidence" of the pole dancing or whatever went on in the office come out, everyone will probably emerge unscathed, ready and able to give Kate Moss a high five. No bleary-eyed press conferences here.