Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have created a billion-dollar entertainment and fashion empire through their company, Dualstar Entertainment Group, but according to a new lawsuit, the sisters’ business isn’t sharing its profits with hard-working interns.
A class-action lawsuit was filed against the company claiming interns completed overtime hours of tedious work for no compensation or college credit. Dualstar has responded to the allegations in a statement to PEOPLE.
“As an initial matter, Dualstar is an organization that is committed to treating all individuals fairly and in accordance with all applicable laws,” the company told PEOPLE. “The allegations in the complaint filed against Dualstar are groundless, and Dualstar will vigorously defend itself against plaintiff’s claims in court, not before the media. Dualstar is confident that once the true facts of this case are revealed, the lawsuit will be dismissed in its entirety.”
The allegations referenced are pertaining to a lawsuit accusing Dualstar Entertainment of refusing to pay up to 40 past and present interns. It’s also accusing them of not granting interns school credit for their work.
The lead plantiff is a former design intern, Shahista Lalani, who worked for the twin’s fashion label, The Row, under one of the brand’s head technical designer. Page Six reports that she was treated poorly, worked for free and had to be hospitalized for dehydration due to demanding conditions.
“I was doing the work of three interns,” Lalani told Page Six. “I was talking to her all day, all night. E-mails at nighttime for the next day, like 10 p.m. at night.”
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Lalani also shared that some interns were reduced to tears. “You’re like an employee, except you’re not getting paid. They’re kind of mean to you. Other interns have cried. I’d see a lot of kids crying doing coffee runs, photocopying stuff.”
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