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Ex-American Apparel CEO Dov Charney Says He Can't Afford A Lawyer

Dov Charney in 2009 (Photo via Getty Images)
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This has not been a good year for Dov Charney, and things appear to be getting even worse. Bloomberg reports that Charney is representing himself in the lawsuit he's embroiled in with the hedge fund Standard General, a backer of American Apparel. Charney, who was fired from the board of American Apparel in 2014 amid charges of sexual misconduct and financial mismanagement, has been attempting to regain control of the company that he founded, a legal battle that has not been cheap.

Charney wrote a letter, dated Wednesday, to the judge presiding over the case in Delaware that said, "As you may know, I was fired by American Apparel, the company I founded in Montreal over three decades ago, with no severance or otherwise...All of my shareholder interests have been wiped out, and I have depleted my savings on defending my life's work and legal rights."

The law firm Cross & Simon LLC, which had been representing Charney in the case against Standard General, withdrew on Wednesday, saying that "continued representation would be unreasonably burdensome" because of Charney's current financial situation, and other legal fees he's been accruing in several other cases, according to court filings. Yeah, a few of those cases come to mind.

When American Apparel filed for bankruptcy in October, it destroyed the value of Charney's remaining stock, which accounted for much of his net worth. But this isn't the first time Charney has said that he's broke: he told Bloomberg last year that he was down to his last $100,000, and was sleeping on a friend's couch on the Lower East Side of Manhattan Despite this, Charney still owns his 11,000 square foot, 8-bedroom this mansion atop a hill in Silver Lake. Sorry we're not sorry, Dov.