Condé Nast-y, indeed! The publisher is spitting mad with Stefano Tonchi and has begun throwing around some seriously aggressive language in regards to the former W editor-in-chief, calling him a “faithless servant” and accusing him of attempting to “extort” $1 million from them, according to WWD.
Tonchi is currently suing Condé Nast’s parent company, Advance, for $1.1 million, on the grounds that he was wrongfully terminated without severance and denied a $130,000 bonus owed him.
Condé Nast, for their part, is blaming Tonchi for nearly tanking W‘s sale and for having an adverse effect on the publication’s price when it was finally bought by Surface, back in June. According to Condé Nast, the final sale price, which WWD estimates to have been around $6 or $7 million, was “up to $15 million less than first round indications,” which the company says was caused by Tonchi’s “disloyal actions.”
In papers filed late Monday in a New York court, Condé Nast wrote that Tonchi’s actions “included selectively and without authorization disclosing confidential and sometimes false information to the press and various bidders with the effect of dissuading full participation by buyers he disfavored, taking secret meetings with potential buyers even though he was not authorized to do so and numerous other violations of the express instructions he received from the team managing the sale process.” Condé Nast is also accusing Tonchi of attempting to “extort” an additional $1 million out of them for him to meet with W‘s ultimate buyer, Surface.
Condé Nast is seeking to have Tonchi’s own lawsuit against them thrown out and “all monies paid to him during his period of disloyalty, as a faithless servant” returned to them, plus interest, and other unspecified damages.
Tonchi’s own lawyer, Lani Adler, told WWD that she “looks forward to trying this case.”