By  on August 12, 2013

NEW YORK — Friday’s showdown between Naeem Khan and his disgruntled former creative director Lionel Geneste stemmed from a wage dispute, but drug use, the gift of a fake Birkin bag and manic behavior were among the accusations hurled by witnesses in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Geneste is seeking between $150,000 and $200,000 in unpaid commission, excluding interest for that sum, according to his attorney Bernard Daskal. After Friday’s court testimony, Khan said he was determined to see the legal dispute through without a preliminary settlement.

Khan’s lawyer, Edward Hayes, said the dispute comes down to numbers and is not a matter of likability. After Friday’s proceedings, Khan said he had given Geneste 18 months to take care of an identity fraud issue before he officially let him go. That allegation and no doubt many others will be readdressed today when both sides return to Manhattan Supreme Court.

Geneste worked for Khan from January 2003 through June 2006, said Daskal, before noting the designer claims Geneste was let go in March or April 2006. Khan told WWD that Geneste was terminated for identity fraud for using his boyfriend’s social security number.


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