Gloves come off in fight for Roseanne's fashions

April 05, 1994|By Stacy Perman | Stacy Perman,New York Times Special Features

The Roseanne Arnold line of large-size clothing, which was to make its debut in New York next month, has exploded into a court battle.

The star has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against CelebSales, the apparel company that was set to manufacture the line under her label.

Mickey Robins, Mrs. Arnold's lawyer, says the contract for the license was terminated and a lawsuit filed on March 15 after Stanley Warner, president of CelebSales, failed to make a $250,000 payment due March 1. The payment, the second of four scheduled $250,000 payments, was originally due Dec. 15, but was extended to March 1, according to Mr. Robins.

Mr. Warner maintains that this is a contractual dispute over the right to merchandise the line on television, among other things.

According to Mr. Robins, Mr. Warner never had the right to merchandise the line on television and the bottom line of the dispute is that Mr. Warner failed to make the scheduled payments.

In the suit, Roseanne and Tom Arnold are asking for $750,000 and the return of the designs and patterns of the line.

Mr. Robins calls Mr. Warner's allegations "patently false," and added, "He's known since the beginning of negotiations that we made the decision not to merchandise the clothes on television at this time. We don't need someone like Stanley Warner to take us on television. This was strictly for department stores and some specialty chains."

That just isn't so, according to Mr. Warner, who insists that he still holds the license and is planning to go forward with a show to introduce the line on April 10.

Later in the interview, however, Mr. Warner says, "We just want to get our money back, surrender the name and go forward with the clothes under a different name. I'd rather have Hitler's name on the clothes than Roseanne's."

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