Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's Company Responds to Lawsuit Filed by Unpaid Interns—Get the Details

Dualstar Entertainment Group calls the accusations “groundless” in a new statement

By Mike Vulpo Aug 11, 2015 9:42 PMTags
Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, CFDA 2015David X Prutting/BFA/Sipa via AP Images

Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen's company is being put under the microscope for their internship policies.

Dualstar Entertainment Group is facing a class-action lawsuit from approximately 40 past and present interns who allege they suffered from wage theft after working extended hours, Page Six reported Tuesday morning.

According to the publication, former design intern Shahista Lalani is the lead plaintiff in the Manhattan Supreme Court case. During her 2012 internship, the Parsons School of Design grad claimed she was "doing the work of three interns" and talking to her boss "all day, all night. E-mails at nighttime for the next day, like 10 p.m. at night."

She also claims to have put in 50-hour weeks "inputting data into spreadsheets, making tech sheets, running personal errands for paid employees, organizing materials, photocopying, sewing, pattern cutting, among other related duties," according to court documents obtained by E! News.

According to Dualstar, however, the mistreatment of interns is simply inaccurate.

"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 said in a statement to E! News. "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."

The company added, "Dualstar is confident that once the true facts of this case are revealed, the lawsuit will be dismissed in its entirety."

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E! News has also reached out to the Olsen's twins for additional comment.

While Lalani says she never worked directly with the famous pair—in fact, she calls them "really nice people"—the former intern's lawsuit asserts that interns should have been paid the minimum wage at the very least.

"You're like an employee, except you're not getting paid," Lalani told Page Six. "They're kind of mean to you. Other interns have cried. I'd see a lot of kids crying doing coffee runs, photocopying stuff."