Andy Warhol-founded 'Interview' magazine folds amid legal battles with former employees

Interview-mosphereInterview Magazine dinner New York America- 10 Sep 2012

The company is owned by the paper magnate and art collector Peter Brant-who was a friend of Warhol, and collects his work-and its other magazines include Art in America and Artnews.

But it was also a key part of Warhol's art-business practice, with editors directed to place fashionable wives and girlfriends of wealthy businessmen on Interview's covers; their partners could then be induced to purchase the screen print of the women from Warhol's studio.

Earlier this month, the magazine was sued for $600,000 by a former editorial director who claims he wasn't paid by the magazine.

For almost half a century, a publication started by Andy Warhol has been publishing Q&As with such celebrities as John Lennon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and even Warhol himself.

Longtime employee Deborah Blasucci is suing the company under claims that she was sacked for making too much money, and three other female employees have accused creative director Karl Templer of "overstepping professional lines", though Templer denies these accusations.

While Interview's history has been tarnished in recent years as a result of these alleged misdeeds, the publication had been celebrated for its cutting edge approach, including a willingness to celebrate queer artists and LGBT allies by placing them on the cover.

But Baron now claims the company stiffed him on over $500,000 in invoices over the last three years. Sources say Templer was owed up to $280,000 in backpay, which prompted his departure.

Interview filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and is liquidating its assets, according to multiple media reports. Dan Ragone, who was Interview's president for six years, also sued in 2016 for allegedly unpaid wages of about $170,000 and that case is still working its way through the courts.

It's undoubtedly a tragic end for the magazine once dubbed "The Crystal Ball of Pop Culture" because of its iconic covers and lengthy, often freewheeling interviews with artists and people of note conducted by their celebrity peers.

The magazine offices were closed today Phone calls placed to a number listed on Interview's website went unanswered; the line appeared to have been disconnected. It featured Kim Kardashian posing as Jackie Kennedy.

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