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October 4, 2013

Six Archie Employees Including Victor Gorelick File Suit Against Nancy Silberkleit

The New York Post follows up some recent reporting they've done on goings-on at the Archie comics headquarters with news that a group of Archie employees including longtime editor Victor Gorelick filed a suit this week to "eject" co-CEO Nancy Silberkleit from the firm. They suit is for $32.5 million dollars; the action also seeks a permanent injunction against her in terms of being at the offices or having any contact with the suit-bringers' families. The Post pounced on some of the stranger aspects of the filing, including an anecdote whereby a small child with cancer was accused of stealing a wig that was given to her as a gift by other staffers. The Post article also notes that Silberkleit has run an anti-bullying foundation -- some of the proceeds of a suit would go to such an organization -- and repeats a story that's come up before about Silberkleit bringing a large man described as a member of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang to the office in an attempt to intimidate other employees. The article also notes that Silberkleit is currently running for mayor of Rye, New York.

This is yet another in a bunch of lawsuits flying around that company and Silberkleit, including what I believe may be ongoing litigation about some element of the will that put Silberkleit into this position in the first place. A high-profile 2011 sexual harassment lawsuit was settled in mid-2012.

Silberkleit is the widow of Michael Silberkleit, who was the son of company co-founder Louis Silberkleit. Richard Goldwater currently controls the other 50 percent of the company, with 25 percent of the company that he owns and 25 percent of his late siblings, which he controls.

The other individual identified by the Post as a participant in the suit is archivist Jim Paget, who in a previous flurry of acrimonious back-and-forths was described as someone that Silberkleit sought to use as a spy against the rest of the company.

I know this is the kind of thing that people enjoy the shit out of because it's so outlandish and odd, and doubly so when set against the backdrop of the Archie company's widely-known and very specific brand of Americana. The sense of deep, human unhappiness at the core of it all seems palpable to me in a way that keeps me from laughing too hard, though. Archie has been a lot more high-profile over the last half-decade as they've tried to energize their licensing possibilities through attention to core product and storyline elements. This can't be the kind of attention they wanted, but it's also very right-now modern.
posted 5:41 am PST | Permalink

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