My heart is broken LORNA JANE:
The private pain behind fitness mogul’s famous smile
FITNESS queen Lorna Jane Clarkson, who says she built her multimillion-dollar activewear empire promoting positivity and empowerment, claims her confidence was shattered by the court case in which her brand was falsely accused of fat-shaming.
Speaking with Jules Sebastian on her Youtube series Tea With Jules, Clarkson spoke about the case in which a former store employee alleged she had been fat-shamed and bullied online while working for the activewear company.
The lawsuit was dismissed by a District Court judge this month.
“It broke my heart; I felt like I couldn’t even speak about it, which was probably one of my mistakes because I just hid in a little hole, and I lost my selfconfidence,” she said.
“You just feel like you can’t defend yourself.”
The lawsuit, brought about in 2015, coincided with public criticism over a job advertisement for a Lorna Jane store that asked for applicants’ body measurements to fulfil the modelling portion of the role.
Clarkson, who splits her time between Brisbane and Los Angeles, said she was rattled by the criticism, having built her $200 million activewear business and written five books on the premise of leading a positive and healthy lifestyle. “I’m a positive person, I talk about positivity being my super power, it’s just the way that I am,” Clarkson said. “The only way to fight negativity is to continue to be yourself ... because how could what people are saying about me be right when I’ve spent 25 years doing the complete opposite?” Earlier this month, former Lorna Jane store manager Amy Louise Robinson lost her claim for more than $570,000 in damages for physical and psychiatric injuries from the activewear chain after she alleged she was bullied at work. Ms Robinson (below) claimed she was too ill to work because she was fat-shamed when she worked at Lorna Jane’s DFO store near Brisbane Airport. But a District Court judge found Ms Robinson was “an unreliable witness with serious credibility issues”. Ms Clarkson said she had not confronted the former employee, but was relieved the case had been dismissed. “I’ve learnt and I want the message to be why do we as a society want to feel or know or hear bad things about other people?,” she said.
STAYING STRONG: Fitness queen Lorna Jane Clarkson says recent criticism has hurt.