Keith Fink has a reputation for targeting celebrities to make a quick buck -- big names he has targeted include Marilyn Manson, Brad Pitt, and Ellen DeGeneres -- and even for concocting evidence. He is particularly known for leveraging the media to bolster his case - a potentially tarnishable reputation can be worth its weight its gold. He has been at odds with American Apparel for two years now over a case he filed accusing Charney of sexually harassing former AA employee Mary Nelson. A few weeks ago he filed another suit against Charney - this time on behalf of an employee claiming wrongful termination. "He has a history of chasing this company around," says Charney.
Most recently, a series of emails has been leaked in which Fink appears to threaten American Apparel lawyers in relation to the sexual harrasment case brought by former employee Mary Nelson. Writes Fink in one of the emails: "Don't even try me. I will not respond to another e-mail again from MSK. You don't pay me by the Fed 7th I'm blowing this whole farce wide open. Then you can try the case against me and deal with the media knowing that you wanted to pay sever fogures to sweep this under thr rug. So try me."
Called a "celebrity ambulance chaser" by Charney, Fink has already been fined $7500 for fabricating evidence (he instructed his client Mary Nelson to lie about her income to make the jury more sympathetic) in a sexual harassment case alleging Charney held meetings in the nude. Charney tells us that Fink is currently being investigated by the California state bar.
"He uses sexual shame tactics. I've never had to settle a case outside of a few months severance. This is a nuisance claim from two yrs ago," said Charney in an interview the week before the emails were leaked.
Update: Yesterday, Charney was slapped with yet another lawsuit -- from Nikky Yang, an ex-employee who alleges Charney harassed female employees by conducting meetings in the nude amongst other things. The suit also alleges that the CEO forced Yang to move inventory between stores, leading to "inflated sales and false net profits." Via The New York Post.