Condé Nast is coming after former W Magazine editor Stefano Tonchi, calling him a “faithless servant” and claiming he is trying to “extort” the company.
In June, the publisher canned Tonchi at the same time it sold the fashion bible, which he’d headed for nine years, to Surface Media. Now the publishing giant has accused Tonchi — who is suing them for $1 million, claiming wrongful termination — of interfering with the sale by “disclosing confidential and sometimes false information” to the press and potential bidders, and “taking secret meetings … though he was not authorized to do [so],” all to “achieve benefits for himself,” according to court docs.
In addition to filing its countersuit, Condé Nast is seeking to have Tonchi’s lawsuit dismissed, and the return, with interest, of “all monies paid to him during his period of disloyalty, as a faithless servant,” court papers say.
Tonchi’s lawyer told WWD that the publisher is trying to “blame Stefano for its bungling of the sale process and its apparent agreement to take what it thought was an unacceptably low price” for the magazine.