Mike Jeffries, the former CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F), is taking legal action against the company for not covering his legal fees amid allegations that he operated a sex trafficking enterprise.
In October, a lawsuit accused A&F of funding a “criminal enterprise” run by Mike Jeffries over two decades. These allegations came to light following a BBC investigation that exposed claims of Jeffries exploiting young men for sex while serving as CEO.
In response to these allegations, Mike Jeffries filed a lawsuit against A&F, asserting that the company had a contractual obligation to indemnify him for any claims arising from his role as CEO. According to his legal complaint, this indemnification encompassed a wide range of claims, including civil, criminal, administrative, and others. The contract also obligated A&F to reimburse or provide advance payment to Jeffries upon his request for any associated legal fees.
However, A&F has refused to honor Jeffries’ request for legal fee coverage, leading to his legal action against the company.
Mike Jeffries is considered the architect of A&F’s modern-day success, transforming the brand from a struggling heritage outfitter into a multi-billion-dollar teen retailer during the 1990s. He stepped down from his role as CEO in 2014 amid declining sales, receiving a retirement package valued at around $25 million, part of which has now been suspended by the company.
The BBC’s two-year investigation, conducted in October, revealed allegations that Jeffries and his British partner had exploited young adult men for sex at events they hosted around the world, including in London, New York, and Marrakesh.
In summary, the legal dispute between Mike Jeffries and Abercrombie & Fitch centers on the company’s refusal to cover his legal fees following allegations of running a sex trafficking operation while serving as CEO.