Today in Los Angeles Superior Court, law firm Freedman & Taitelman, LLP filed a $220 million lawsuit against fashion designer and entrepreneur Max Azria alleging fraud, breach of contract, and a host of other charges. This suit involves Azria and BCBG’s attempt to shift from high-end fashion to Playboy condoms.
Plaintiffs Jimmy Esebag, a respected businessman who has represented Playboy for nearly two decades, Camden Healthcare, LLC and United Medical Devices, LLC explain that Azria and BCBG’s attempts to join the condom business failed because of his incessant misrepresentations and failure to disclose his and BCBG’s dire financial condition. Azria and BCBG’s financial situation is corroborated by Standard & Poor’s downgrade of BCBG’s credit rating to ‘junk’ in early 2012, and allegations that 45 different state and federal tax liens have been filed against BCBG and/or Azria.
In further support of Azria and BCBG’s financial issues, the suit goes on to document a litany of historical legal wrongdoings by Azria and BCBG that were allegedly not disclosed to Plaintiffs. These include multiple trademark infringement lawsuits, employment discrimination actions and violations of various labor laws, totaling more than 100 cases against BCBG, and 42 against Azria. The suit asserts Azria’s failure to disclose that BCBG has been accused of producing clothing containing dangerous levels of lead, has been banned from Wal-Mart, and is in severe debt. The suit states, ‘Azria egregiously concealed these facts from Playboy and Esebag in order to induce them to give him a share of the condom business.’
The suit alleges a disconnect between Azria’s brazen portrayal of his financial health and reality. In that regard, the suit quotes Azria’s recent deposition testimony, ‘I want to tell you, $2,000 is the tip that I give to restaurant when I go to the restaurant Ö Money is nothing. If he need a million dollars, I give him a million dollars Ö But even if it’s $10 million, I have no problem.’ The suit also describes Azria’s audacious narcissism through his testimony: ‘I have a relationship with everybody. I am Max Azria. People are happy to have lunch with me. Anybody in America. Even the president of America.’
The suit was filed by Bryan Freedman and Jonathan Genish of the Los Angeles-based law firm Freedman & Taitelman, LLP.
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