Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have settled an lawsuit filed against them by former interns that suggested the famous twins' parent company Dualstar Entertainment exploited them.
The twins were sued back in 2015 by former intern Shahista Lalani, who worked at the Olsen's fashion company The Row for five months in 2012. Lalani did not receive any college credit for her internship and also received no pay for her labours.
In addition to this, she claimed she worked for up to 50 hours a week performing "very demanding" tasks under the supervision of "mean" superiors. Lalani also claimed that she often saw "kids crying doing coffee runs, photocopying stuff."
Shahista also stated in her court files that she was once hospitalized for dehydration after carrying "50 pounds worth of trench coats" when it was "like 100 degrees outside."
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Most significantly, the former intern claimed that she was performing the same duties as the paid Dualstar staff, including data entry, office organization, sewing and running errands for permanent members of staff.
Although the lawsuit was against the Olsen twins, Shahista was clear that they were not the people making interns cry or exploiting their staff:
"They’re really nice people. They were never mean to anyone. They’re business people."
According to paperwork filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, the Olsen twins will pay out $530 each to the 185 former interns who were part of the class action. They are also required to cover $41,950 for the opposing side's legal fees.
Gossip Cop reports that the Olsen twins decided to settle the lawsuit because they could have faced much larger costs in damages and legal fees if they lost the class action suit.
Do you think it's fair that interns are expected to work without pay?