Beyonce now fully owns her activewear line Ivy Park after the entertainer bought Topshop Chairman Sir Philip Green’s 50 percent stake in the company. The huge business move comes after Green was accused of sexual harassment and racial discrimination, The Root reports. Beyonce launched the brand in 2016 in partnership with Green’s Arcadia Group in 2016.
The allegations against Green were revealed in the British Parliament last month when an MP announced that the business tycoon had obtained an injunction against the Telegraph because the newspaper was set to publish an exposée about the accusations. The Telegraph published an article about Green and his efforts to quell the story with non-disclosure agreements but his name was redacted.
According to The Guardian, Green has been called out for creating a climate of fear and intimidation at his company.
“There’s no question he was a bully, everyone knows he was a bully,” said Jane Shepherdson, the former brand director at Topshop.
The Daily Mail notes that he has also been accused of using sexual innuendos with female members of staff during meetings. For example, there are claims that he asked women if they “needed their bottoms slapped” for being “naughty girls.”
Green has denied the allegations and has called his comments harmless “banter.”
“The whole thing is disgusting, this has got nothing to do with any sexual misconduct. It’s nonsense,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mail.
“I’m very, very, very upset. I’m being used as target practice when there is zero [evidence] that anyone has turned up with. It’s injuring my business, all the people potentially working in the business, and it’s injuring me and my family.”
The allegations against Green led to calls for a boycott of his brands and some demanded that Beyonce cut ties with the embattled billionaire.
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“Beyonce has put herself forward as a women’s rights activist. She and her team need to look closely at these allegations,” British activist Yasmeen Hassan said to the BBC in October.
However, a statement from Beyonce’s company Parkwood Entertainment suggests that her increased stake in Topshop may not have been triggered by the scandal. The statement indicates that they’d been negotiating the buyout for approximately a year.
“After discussions of almost a year, Parkwood has acquired 100% of the Ivy Park brand. Topshop/Arcadia will fulfill the existing orders,” the statement read, as published by The Guardian.
Despite its departure from Topshop, Ivy Park is also available at retailers not owned by Philip Green like Nordstrom and Foot Locker.