Active wear Queen, Lorna Jane Clarkson has broken down in tears during a recent 60 Minutes interview, as she spoke for the first time about being sued and the controversial advertisement for a ‘fit’ receptionist.
The fitness mogul struggled to hold back tears while talking about the negative publicity and allegations being thrown at her and her company over the last couple of months – and who could blame her?
It all started with the controversial job ad for a ‘reception/fit model’ posted on the employment website SEEK earlier this year, asking for small size applicants with a bust of 87-90cm, a waist no bigger than 73cm and a 97-100cm hip.
In the 60 Minutes interview, Lorna tells reporter Allison Langdon she would have handled things differently had she anticipated the backlash that followed.
“In hindsight, would I wish we’d written it differently? Absolutely,” she says in the interview.
“I just think we’re an active wear company, they misconstrued the word ‘fit’ for being physically fit and not actually a fitting model. Fit doesn’t mean skinny.”
The company is also currently fighting a lawsuit against a former employee, Amy Robinson who claims she was fat shamed, bullied and harassed by Lorna Jane staff when she worked with the company in 2012.
The former Lorna Jane Store Manager is suing the company for $548,000 claiming that the ordeal triggered a mental disorder and a major depressive episode, as well as chronic adjustment disorder with anxiety and depression.
In the 60 Minutes interview, Lorna was asked if there was a culture of bullying at Lorna Jane.
“Absolutely not. And you know what, if there was, I would put a stop to it. I would do the right thing.”
Lorna said she didn’t know why she was being targeted; adding that ‘it hurts’ and that she feels vulnerable.
“I should be tougher than that, but this is who I am. I’m human. I hope I will get a thicker skin but right now, no it doesn’t feel like that at all.”
“I feel vulnerable … I guess,” Lorna says as she begins to cry.
“I’m not normally like this, I’m so positive and I think that this is not me. But right now with the things the press are saying about me and my brand this is how I feel.”