NEW YORK, June 19 (Reuters) - Dov Charney, the ousted founder of hipster clothing brand American Apparel Inc, has seen his share of lawsuits accusing him, and the company, of misdeeds ranging from sexual harassment to misleading shareholders.
Here are some of the cases Charney and American Apparel have faced since its founding in the late 1990s.
* In 2005, Mary Nelson who worked as a sales manager at American Apparel, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Charney claiming he frequented meetings in his underwear, exposed himself and called women vulgar names. She said she lost her job when she complained of an "unsafe work environment" after another female employee was raped by an American Apparel co-worker. The company subsequently filed counterclaims against Nelson and in 2012 both sides entered into a settlement agreement without any monetary compensation, according to company filings.
* Another employee, Sylvia Hsu, alleged in 2006 a co-worker sexually harassed her before she was let go from the company. In 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) supported Hsu's allegation as well as others that American Apparel had discriminated against women on the basis of their gender. In August 2013, Hsu and the company entered a three-year agreement that gave her "immaterial compensatory payment," according to American Apparel's last annual report.
* Five individuals separately sued the company between 2009 and 2011 for failing to pay their wages fully, among other labor allegations. They proceeded to arbitration, which resulted in a payment by American Apparel, still subject to approval, according to the recent annual report.
* One former saleswoman, Irene Morales, alleged Charney used her as a teenage sex slave and sued for $250 million in damages. A New York judge moved the case to arbitration in 2011. Then, in two separate claims in California state court, Morales and several other woman said they were forced to pose nude in pictures that later surfaced on the Internet. Addressing the trio of cases in a company filing last year, American Apparel said it settled one case with no monetary liability and prevailed on the sexual harassment claims in another. While the company could not determine the final outcome in the remainder of the claims, it said business would not be adversely affected.
* In 2009, the company paid actor/director Woody Allen $5 million to settle a dispute over the unauthorized use of his image - dressed as a Hasidic Jew from the movie "Annie Hall" - in a billboard advertising campaign. In a statement on his website, Charney said the ad was his attempt to make a joke about his unfair vilification and false allegations made in the harassment lawsuits. "Some writers characterized me as a rapist and abuser of women, others asserted that I was a bad Jew, and some even stated that I was not fit to run my company," Charney's post said.
* In January this year, American Apparel shareholders settled a class action lawsuit against the company for $4.8 million. In their original complaint, shareholders claimed the company misled the public about their hiring of undocumented immigrants. Shareholders also accused Charney of "reckless conduct" after taking the company public. In a 2008 interview Charney called his then-Chief Financial Officer Ken Cieply a "complete loser" with "no credibility" and Cieply resigned, the suit said. American Apparel then hired outside auditing firm Deloitte to shore up its reputation, but Deloitte pulled out of the process, claiming the company was withholding information. The SEC launched a probe into the incident, but the investigation ended in 2012 with no enforcement action.
(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg, Jeffrey Dastin and Carlyn Kolker; Editing by Jilian Mincer and Steve Orlofsky)