American Apparel's ousted founder Dov Charney has lambasted the retailer's board of directors, accusing them of orchestrating a "hateful PR campaign" against him based on lies.
Speaking out for the first time since he was fired in what he branded a "grotesque" move, Charney insisted that he wants his company back and won't go down without a fight.
"I think it’s highly unusual that a board – any board – would indulge in such a hateful PR campaign against its founder, " he told the Financial Times. "It’s a lash-out that stems from a false place due to a lack of research into the work I’ve been doing over the last year."
Last week, American Apparel's board of directors unanimously voted to remove the 45-year old from his duties as chief executive citing an internal investigation into alleged misconduct.
The board argued his behaviour not only damaged the company's reputation, but also posed a financial risk after Charney was accused of sexual harassment in a series of lawsuits that were either settled or dismissed.
In addition, the board claimed he misused company funds and knew of the existence of a controversial blog, which made "defamatory" comments about the company and impersonated a former employee, but took no action to stop it.
But Charney, who is seeking more than $20 million in compensation unless he is reinstated, insists that he is the best man for the job and will be back in his office soon, adding: "This is the year American Apparel fully recovered. This has to manifest itself to its full conclusion, with me there".
Charney founded American Apparel in 1998 and has been in charge since 2007 when the company went public. In recent years, the company has seen sales decline with his controversial behaviour and racy advertising taking centre stage.
American Apparel’s largest outside shareholder, Swiss firm FiveT Capital AG, has already signalled it won't support Charney, who owns a 27 per cent in stake in the retailer, leaving him with limited options to win back his company.