Judge to Archie co-publisher: "Stay away!"

201201251216 Judge to Archie co publisher: "Stay away!"

The ugly legal battle between Archie Comics co-CEO’s Jon Goldwater and Nancy Silberkleit has escalated in recent weeks with new legal filings. And now a judge has banned Silberkleit from going anywhere near Archie’s offices or contacting any of the employees.

The battles began (publicly anyway) last summer, when Archie asked for a restraining order against Silberkleit just in time for the San Diego Comic-Con. Things heated up last week when Goldwater sued to force her removal as co-CEO, claiming that “Unless Silberkleit is removed as a director and an officer, the company — an iconic American company — is in serious danger of failing and being liquidated.”

Now Judge Shirley Kornreich has ruled that Silberkleit must stay away from the Archie offices or present herself as working for the company:

“At no point is she to go to the offices, and she is not to present herself to anyone as representing Archie Comics Productions, and she is not to do any work for Archie Comics Productions,” ruled Manhattan Justice Shirley Kornreich.

“She is not to do anything for Archie Comics Productions.”


The ruling came as only the latest legal blow against Silberkleit, who has claimed bullying and sexism from Archie’s executives. However, Goldwater charges Silberkleit with bizarre, erratic behavior, sexual harassment, and other actions that would threaten Archie’s ability to conduct business, such as spending $100,000 on a comics fair program that has only netted $10,000 and negotiating media rights on behalf of the company.

For her part, Silberkleit seems to keep ignoring any and all rulings—for instance, she contacted Archie artists to work on an anti-bullying comic she recently announced.

Archie is still a privately owned company—Goldwater and Silberkleit both inherited their parts of the Jughead empire in the last few years. While Silberkleit has been seen publicly promoting such benign topics as literacy, Goldwater has pushed forward with a series of bold business moves— from going day and date before any other comics publisher to promoting Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in Riverdale.

Another hearing is set for the 2nd, so more headlines then.

Comments

  1. Jaxon Sales says:

    So what happens if you keep ignoring directives from a judge?

  2. Torsten Adair says:

    Jaxon, there’s a Contempt of Court hearing coming up, according to Robot 6.

    Silberkeit’s 50% stake in Archie (acquired from her late husband, the son of one of the founders) is also being challenged by the offspring from his first marriage.

    Goldwater owns 25%, and manages the 25% share held by his deceased brother.

    Family-owned businesses sometimes have these troubles. I saw it in the 1990s, when the Dart Group (owner of Super Crown Books) self-destructed over family bickering.

    In a situation described above, there should be a “silent partner” who owns 2% of the company. If there’s a conflict, this person can then serve as tie breaker.

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