Publicist sues editor after NY Fashion Week dustup over seats

NEW YORK Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:27pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Prized seats at celebrity-studded New York Fashion Week are so coveted that a dispute over one allegedly prompted a slap in the face.

A New York publicist has sued a French magazine editor and her mother, a publishing executive, for $1 million after a fight over front-row seats at a Zac Posen show.

Lynn Tesoro filed the lawsuit on Wednesday against Jalouse editor Jennifer Eymere and Marie-Jose Susskind-Jalou in Manhattan state Supreme Court. It claims "assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, slander and/or libel."

The lawsuit does not explain the circumstances of the alleged assault beyond saying that it took place at Avery Fisher Hall on Sunday.

But Women's Wear Daily, a fashion-industry trade journal, reported that the incident occurred at the Posen show after city fire marshals removed 60 seats, most of them from the front row.

Eymere began arguing with Tesoro, whose firm was in charge of promoting the Posen show, because her mother, Susskind-Jalou, no longer had a seat, the journal said.

The confrontation escalated, with Susskind-Jalou, Eymere and Eymere's sister engaging in a screaming match with Tesoro. Tesoro was then allegedly slapped in the face.

"It was a small slap," Eymere told Women's Wear Daily. "It was not strong. I didn't hurt her, it was just to humiliate her. She humiliated my mom, and I humiliated her in front of her crew. Voilà. I just said at the end, ‘Now you know you don't fuck with French people.'"

The journal noted that another person said it was Susskind-Jalou, not Eymere, who struck Tesoro.

The lawsuit also named Eymere's sister, Vanessa Bellugeon, as a defendant.

Tesoro, whose firm, The HL Group, handled top clients including Oscar de la Renta, fur designer Dennis Basso and Japan's Tadashi Shoji during Fashion Week, declined to comment on the matter through a firm spokesman. Eymere could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Fashion Week, which attracts 116,000 models, designers, buyers and customers to the city, wrapped up on Thursday.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Xavier Briand)

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