Revlon CEO, Lorenzo Delpani, is in some pretty hot waters at the moment. In a lawsuit, filed by a former employee, Deplani has been accused of making racial and prejudice statements against “dirty” Americans, Jews sticking together and the ability to “smell black people” when they walk into a room.
The statements are said to have been made after Deplane took over as CEO in 2013, according to a lawsuit filed by former employee Alan Meyers.
In his complaint, Meyers says that he was ostracized because of his Jewish heritage.
Delpani, a native of Italy, told Meyers he was “shocked” there weren’t more Jews at the company because the biggest shareholder is Ron Perelman, a prominent Jewish American, according to the suit.
“Jews stick together,” Delpani quipped. He also allegedly added that “thankfully,” Perelman “is not like that anymore.”
Delpani also said that he hates living among Americans, whom he called “small-minded” and “dirty,” and that he can’t wait to get back to a “real” country, according to court papers filed this week.
He later allegedly went on an “anti-American tirade” in which he said the US is getting closer to being like ISIS.
Meyers also claims Delpani made a racist comment after a meeting in South Africa, when he said he “could smell a black person when he entered a room.”
Meyers says Delpani had it out for him for having red-flagged safety issues in the production and manufacturing process.
Meyers claims he was concerned that several labs were not equipped to adequately test raw materials to satisfy Revlon’s safety standards.
Meyers, 56, who joined Revlon in 2010, was fired last month after he complained about the issues and his treatment, the lawsuit says.
Revlon spokeswoman Kiki Rees on Wednesday said Meyers was a disgruntled employee who did not perform up to company standards. “Mr. Meyers repeatedly demonstrated critical lapses in judgment and failed to perform at the high standard we demand of our employees,” Rees said.
In the suit, Meyers claims Delpani’s tirades and tormenting eventually became outright bullying.
Meyers described one incident in October, when he allegedly was forced by Delpani to act as a human easel during a high-level meeting.
Meyers says he was instructed to hold a whiteboard, which covered his entire upper torso and head, for approximately 30 minutes.
He saw this as a demeaning gesture, he says, especially since he was supposed to be part of the leadership team.
Stress from the ordeal forced Meyers into the hospital with chest pains, the lawsuit says. He said he was fired on Dec. 10.
In his suit, he is demanding unspecified punitive and compensatory damages. Attorneys for Meyers were unavailable Wednesday for comment.