Who’s Exploiting What Now?
Fiona Duncan’s essay in Adult Mag (NSFW-ish, btw), “I am a Hysteric” is not really about money, or anything that can be nailed down (anxiety? Hitachi Wands?) but the opener sure is!
Stockroom rumor has it that most of the allegations of sexual harassment filed against American Apparel founder Dov Charney were fabricated by the man himself. The plaintiffs in the public cases were in fact his girlfriends, or, those women employees he fucked, the chosen ones: they lived in apartments leased above his shops and dined on company credit cards, “brand representatives,” models——they were in on it. These girls were represented in suit by company lawyers (evidence). The legal battles, the rumor goes, were all show: manufactured scandals designed to lower public opinion of the company, and so its worth. Dov and/or some mind(s) partnered with the man would orchestrate these dips. They would buy stock when the company was devalued; then, when the company was doing well again, sell. The girlfriend accusers would settle out of court, and the money would be funneled back to Dov; the company could write off the costs, claim less profit.
!!! I am not buying it, though the prospect is pretty wild. Duncan, for her part, chooses to believe:
The idea that Dov Charney wasn’t truthfully accused of sexual harassment but rather used this drama as a front for nefarious financial exploitation is so tasty to me, I choose to believe it, I repeat it, as it evidences a suspicion I’ve held since moving to New York: that money is the last taboo, that it hides behind “obscenities” like sex and drugs, but that it alone is obscene (the root-meaning of “obscene” being off-stage).