BUSINESS

The Slow Decline And Fall Of Dov Charney's American Apparel

Relative to everything else in the company's history, bankruptcy seems almost tame.

Nearly a year after firing embattled CEO Dov Charney, American Apparel on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The filing followed a deal with most secured creditors that will reduce the clothing company's debt from $300 million to no more than $135 million, which will lower interest expenses by $20 million a year. American Apparel also will set up a "comprehensive transformation strategy to revitalize the business and brand," according to a company statement. The Associated Press reported American Apparel has lost money every year since 2010.

American Apparel said creditors will receive equity in the company, which aims to complete the reorganization within six months. No layoffs were announced in the company statement.

Among the hardest hit by the bankruptcy will be Charney, 46, the company's founder and former CEO. Charney will lose just north of $8 million -- the amount his stock was worth on Friday, before the bankruptcy filing. At its peak in December 2007, shares in American Apparel climaxed at $16.80, shortly after it went public. On Friday, the shares closed at 11 cents.

Relative to the other shenanigans in the company's tumultuous history, the bankruptcy may actually be a pretty sedate affair. Here's a brief rundown of what American Apparel was like under Charney's reign:

  • Wearing a sock... and nothing else
    Rumors of Charney conducting business in less-than-appropriate attire abound. In addition to roaming the factory floor a
    Bloomberg via Getty Images
    Rumors of Charney conducting business in less-than-appropriate attire abound. In addition to roaming the factory floor and working in his underwear, something Charney told lawyers he did "all the time" for several months in 2003 and 2004, Charney is said to have once hosted a business meeting while wearing a single sock -- and without getting too graphic, just know that it wasn't on either of his feet.
  • The time Charney masturbated in front of a reporter
    In 2004, Jane magazine reporter Claudine Ko said <a href="http://www.claudineko.com/storiesamericanapparel.html">Charney mast
    Gary Friedman via Getty Images
    In 2004, Jane magazine reporter Claudine Ko said Charney masturbated in front of her multiple times while another female employee was present. Charney confirmed the story in an interview with The New York Times, defending his conduct as "A, consensual; B, enjoyable for both parties; and C, occurred in a private setting."
  • American Apparel lets 1,600 unauthorized workers go
    In 2009, the company was forced to <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/1600-american-apparel-workers-legal-status/story?i
    Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters
    In 2009, the company was forced to release nearly 30 percent of its Los Angeles-based workforce after a federal investigation determined they were working without proper authorization.
  • Borderline pornographic advertising
    Under Charney, American Apparel produced more than a handful of nsfw ads, <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/angelamv/the-28-ra
    Andrew Burton via Getty Images
    Under Charney, American Apparel produced more than a handful of nsfw ads, many of which featured nudity and sexually suggestive content.
  • Choking a manager, rubbing dirt in his face, calling him a "f*g"
    In 2012, a former store manager accused Charney of choking him, throwing dirt at him, and referring to him with an anti-gay s
    Carlo Allegri / Reuters
    In 2012, a former store manager accused Charney of choking him, throwing dirt at him, and referring to him with an anti-gay slur. According to a lawsuit filed by the manager, Michael Bumblis, Charney was upset with his store's sales and in a conversation loosed this "expletive-ridden diatribe:"

    “Get your f**king s**t together f*g. Where is your f**king creativity? Get some f**king girls in bikinis to stand on PCH and have them waive a f**king American flag. Are you a f*g? Do you not want to see girls in bikinis? Are you banging that girl you were with in Vegas? What’s her name?”
  • Sexual harassment suits
    Charney has faced down multiple lawsuits filed by several former employees alleging sexual harassment. In two suits filed in
    Bloomberg via Getty Images
    Charney has faced down multiple lawsuits filed by several former employees alleging sexual harassment. In two suits filed in 2005, Charney was accused of "using crude language and gestures, conducting job interviews in his underwear, ordering the hiring of women in whom he had a sexual interest and giving one of the plaintiffs a vibrator," reports The New York Times. In another lawsuit in 2012 (which has since been thrown out), a former employee accused him of using her as a "sex slave."
  • Using sexually explicit language in the workplace
    In a 2006 deposition for one of the aforementioned sexual harassment lawsuits, Charney freely admitted calling employees "slu
    Gary Friedman via Getty Images
    In a 2006 deposition for one of the aforementioned sexual harassment lawsuits, Charney freely admitted calling employees "sluts" and using the word "c**t." "You know, there are some of us that love sluts," he said, adding, "it’s not necessarily -- it could be also be an endearing term."

Since Charney's ouster in June 2014, the company has promoted a more inclusive brand, its new CEO, Paula Schneider, told CNN in an interview over the summer. 

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