Tory Burch files counterclaims against ex-husband's suit

The battle between the Burches just got a bit nastier.

In an expected move, Tory Burch filed counterclaims Tuesday morning against her ex-husband and business partner Christopher Burch, reports WWD.

Tory and her attorneys from Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz claim the following against Chris: Breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, equitable relief, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, and deceptive trade practices.

Chris Burch sued Tory in early October for breach of contract and interfering with the sale of his shares of the Tory Burch company. Sources told Vanity Fair that Chris wanted the company to have an I.P.O., but Tory, in a calculative move, was holding off from going public.

His suit maintained that he sought "compensatory damages and relief," which would also include the ousting of Tory and four others from the board of directors.

Both Tory and Chris each own 28.3 percent of Tory Burch.

"[Tory Burch] never could have existed without me, and it never could have existed without Tory," Chris Burch told VF in the interview.

Earlier this year, Chris, a venture capitalist, launched a lower-priced line called C. Wonder. Tory and her board weren't the only ones to notice similarities between C. Wonder's preppy aesthetic and Tory Burch's classic-but-higher-priced items. Fashion industry's finest also came to Tory's defense.

CFDA president and designer Diane von Furstenberg openly and frankly stated to VF, "What I find bizarre and nasty... is that he is… hurting [her business] by sabotaging it, by copying it." Anna Wintour also lent her support to Tory, implying that the designer is the heart and soul of the brand itself.

In Tory's countersuit, the designer asserts that Chris's actions, including his creation of the C. Wonder brand, was a misappropriation of confidential information, alleging that he had competed "unfairly" against the Tory Burch brand.

Chris, however, has been adamant that his C. Wonder is very different from Tory Burch's aesthetic. Although one can't pinpoint his motives, many believe that Chris still wants to maintain some level of control over Tory's life and the company he helped fund in early days.

The two, who were both raised in Valley Forge, divorced in 2006. In a recent interview with NBC's Rock Center, Tory admitted, "It's been a challenge. But we have six kids that we love, and at the end of the day, that's what [Chris and I] both think about."

The way this lawsuit pans out should be an interesting one to watch.



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NBC's Rock Center / WWD / Vanity Fair