Many Texas readers who enjoy fashion may have heard of Nole Marin, a.k.a. Manuel Fernandez. The fashion mogul and his modeling agency, AIM Model Management, are being sued by a former booking agent and two models. They allege that they were not paid all of the wages they were owed and Marin used the money to keep up his lavish lifestyle. The lawsuit was filed in a superior court.
One of the models alleges that he signed an exclusive modeling content with AIM when he was 19 years old. He reportedly worked 15 events over the last year, sometimes going without sleep to ensure that he completely fulfilled his end of the contract. He claims that he also turned down other work that he could have taken assuming that he would be paid. However, he claims that for all of his hard work he only received several hundred dollars instead of the $38,000 he believes he is owed.
Fernandez's former booking agent has a similar story, alleging that his paychecks started to bounce. When he tried to get paid, he purports that he was given different locations and times to meet Marin, but he was never available or he was told ridiculous excuses for his absences. A second model claims that she was very new when she began to work with Marin and he took advantage of her. She alleges she is owed $3,000.
Marin contends that the allegations are baseless and that the stories the plaintiffs are telling are all lies. The lawsuit is seeking $1.5 million in damages. The plaintiff's legal counsel stated that there may be other employees who will come forward with similar complaints. Texas employees who believe that they, too, have been paid improperly and have not had their pay issues rectified may consider pursuing legal options to recover the lost wages they believe they are owed.
Source: gothamist.com, "Disgruntled Models Sue Former America's Next Top Model Judge, Claiming Wage Theft", Nathan Tempey, Feb. 18, 2016