A $260 million sex-slave lawsuit against American Apparel founder Dov Charney has been thrown out of court after a Brooklyn judge found the parties had already agreed to arbitration in California.
Irene Morales, 21, claimed the CEO held her captive in his Manhattan pad and forced her to perform sex acts on him, in a lawsuit filed a year ago.
But Justice Bernadette Bayne tossed the case from court and ruled that the allegations made by Morales be heard behind closed doors in arbitration.
According to the Daily Mail report, the Judge agreed with the assertion of Charney’s lawyer that since a California court had already ordered the sexual harassment claim to arbitration, a New York court was unable to overrule it.
'It took a while, but the right result was reached,' attorney Stuart Slotnick told DNAinfo. 'We’re happy to see that the frivolous claims are going to be heard in the proper venue.'
Morales's claims have already been undermined by a trove of explicit pictures and messages she sent to her boss, which were made public during the contentious litigation.
She had alleged that the 43-year-old demanded that she send him ‘sexually explicit’ photographs, text messages and emails, which made her become so ‘nervous and depressed’ that she she suffered an emotional breakdown.
‘He informed her that if she wanted to remain employed and be advanced by the company she would have to engage in sexual acts with him as soon as she turned 18 years old,’ the suit added.
Just after her 18th birthday in April 2009, Miss Morales said she was invited to Mr Charney’s downtown Manhattan apartment.
According to the court documents, Mr Charney appeared at the door wearing only his underpants and immediately dragged her inside.
She claims he forced her to go on her knees and perform a sex act just inside the front door, ‘then he dragged her into his bedroom, threw her on to the bed, got on top of her and forced her to perform’ another sex act – ‘nearly suffocating her in the process.’
‘She was, to all intents and purposes, held prisoner in his apartment for several hours and forced to perform additional sex acts upon defendant Charney.’ These allegedly included an attempt to sodomise the teenager.
The former saleswoman, who joined the company at 17, also sued American Apparel and its directors, saying they failed to prevent Charney from acting as a ‘sexual predator'.
Morales' lawyer Eric Baum, said he would appeal the judge's 'inaccurate decision'.
'The California case and the New York case are separate,' he told the New York Post. 'The California case involves a blog impersonation and the New York case involves sexual harassment.'
'Whether this case is heard in court or in arbitration, we intend to fight for the rights of Irene Morales,' he said. 'We will use all legal means necessary to ensure this does not happen to other teenage employees.'