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Friday, January 27, 2012

Fun With Archie? Not Likely - Archie Co-CEO $50,000,000 Files Suit...

Archie Comics has been the source of quite a few legal proceedings of late, none more interesting than the obvious fight over the company, which keeps taking more twists and turns each time the sun rises.  The case is a bit more complex to go into here, but in short the fighting is all coming down to the usual issue - control.  At the moment Archie is co-run by Jonathan Goldwater, the grandson of Archie founder John Goldwater, and Nancy Silberkleit, who is the widow of Michael Silberkleit, the son of Archie co-founder Louis Silberkleit. The New York Post has been running stories of the latest goings on at Archie HQ, and they're not nice at all.  You can read them here and here, and there's an excellent summary of the whole thing here.  In short, Archie has filed suit to have Nancy Silberkleit barred from the company, representing the company or having anything to do with the company, citing bullying, harassment and general abuse.  As it now stands, Silberkleit is under a restraining order, preventing her from going anywhere near Archie HQ until the case against her is resolved.  It's not a pretty thing and certainly it's not the image that such a child friendly company would want to present to the public.

Nancy Silberkleit isn't taking any of it lying down though.  She has filed a counter-suit seeking damages of $50,000,000 for emotional distress and defamation of character, citing the New York Times stories and claiming that Jonathan Goldwater is seeking to have her removed from the company once and for all, and is using some very dirty tricks indeed, including serious accusations of theft of intellectual property, sexual harassment and destruction of files, through to the petty accusations, such as a threat to tow a van hired for a tour, car tyres being nailed and cancelled appearances. 

As with the bulk of these cases, the truth most likely lies somewhere between all of the lines, but until it is resolved Archie is heading towards a very public black eye as the dirty laundry isn't just being aired in public, it's being washed, dried, aired, ironed and folded.  I'll be keeping my eye on this one.

Victor Gorelick, Nancy Silberkleit, and Jonathan Goldwater when they were allowed in the same room as each other



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