Revlon settles ‘viral’ discrimination lawsuit by ex-science chief

March 23, 2015, 9:53 PM UTC
"Love Is On" Campaign Launch Event With Olivia Wilde
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: (L-R) Ron Perelman, Olivia Wilde and President and CEO of Revlon Lorenzo Delpani attend the "Love Is On" campaign launch event with Olivia Wilde at Times Square on November 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
Photograph by Desiree Navarro — WireImage/Getty Images

(Reuters) – Revlon has reached a settlement with a former chief scientific officer whose claims the company’s chief executive made derogatory statements about Jews, Americans and black people went viral on social media.

The settlement with Alan Meyers was disclosed in papers filed in Manhattan federal court on Monday. The terms were not disclosed.

Revlon (REV) said in a statement that the case was “amicably resolved.” Meyers’ lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meyers, who joined Revlon in 2010 and was fired in December last year, sued Revlon for retaliation and discrimination.

He claimed in the lawsuit that Chief Executive Officer Lorenzo Delpani accused him of raising “ghost” safety problems at recently acquired laboratories.

Meyers also said the Italian-born Delpani, who was not a defendant in the lawsuit, frequently yelled at him in front of other executives, and made anti-Semitic and anti-American comments.

The claims became a trending topic on Twitter in January via the hashtag #ShadesOfRevlon.

In the lawsuit, Meyers said Delpani referred to Americans as “dirty” and, during a visit to a South African factory, said he could smell black people when they entered the room.

Meyers also alleged Delpani expressed surprise at the lack of Jewish executives at Revlon because “Jews stick together.”

Revlon has called the lawsuit “completely meritless” and said Meyers “repeatedly demonstrated critical lapses in judgment and failed to perform at the high standard we demand of our employees.”

Meyers also claimed Delpani mentioned Ronald Perelman, who is Revlon’s billionaire controlling shareholder and Jewish, when he made the allegedly derogatory comments, the lawsuit said.

As the lawsuit found an audience on Twitter, Perelman, issued a statement supporting Delpani, calling the allegations “absurd and offensive” and saying Delpani was one of the “least bigoted or biased” people he had ever known.

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