This is a juicy way to start off the New Year, and who’d have thunk it would involve upscale jewelry designer, and QVC vendor, Judith Ripka.
Celebrity stylist, ex-HSN vendor, old soul and often-hilarious Waynescot Lukas (a Jersey boy) had always lamented that the rich hate to pay their bills. This is the gorgeous man with the gorgeous mane who helps make Christie Brinkley gorgeous with his wardrobe selections for her.
Anyway, Ripka has been accused of just what Wayne talks about. Interior decorator Tristan Harstan, who designed Ripka’s Madison Avenue shop, is suing her, claiming she wanted him to give away his goodies so she could get free goodies for one of her luxurious dwellings, according to the New York Daily News.
Harstan alleges that Ripka told him to have sex with upscale furniture designer Nancy Corzine, apparently so she could get furnishings for her Palm Beach home, the News reported.
Ripka often swaps pieces from her high-end, non-QVC jewelry line for “goods and services,” the suit says, and that in fact she has given Corzine $3.4 million worth of baubles for furniture, fabric and lighting since 2005.
Harstan would not put out for Corzine, telling Ripka he wasn’t “a male prostitute,” according to the lawsuit.
The interior designer also charges that Ripka owes him more than $105,000 in salary.
Ripka sold her company for $22.5 million last April to Xcel Brands Inc., which owns the Isaac Mizrahi(another QVC vendor) brand and has an interest in the Liz Claiborne New York brand.
“This is an outstanding opportunity to cultivate our brand and reach our loyal followers in a new way,” Ripka, who served as the brand’s Chief Designer, said at the time. “We deeply value our relationship with Robert D’Loren and look forward to joining him at Xcel. I’m thrilled to be part of the Company and believe that we are well positioned for the future.”
According to the press release about the deal, “Judith Ripka Brand’s existing product lines are sold by independent jewelers in the U.S., abroad and online, as well as on QVC under the ‘Judith Ripka Sterling’ brand. Judith Ripka Brand is currently distributed in over 200 stores in the U.S. and generates approximately $140 million in retail sales.”