Ivanka Trump is trying to avoid testifying in Aquazzura lawsuit
Ivanka Trump's legal team is not scheduling her deposition in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed last year by Aquazzura that alleges her brand copied their design.
The lawsuit was filed last year in federal court in Manhattan in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. It centers on one Aquazzura shoe style, the Wild Thing, that was allegedly copied and produced in a much cheaper version by Trump's brand.
The Wild Thing is a red, Italian-made, suede sandal sold by Aquazzura for just under $800. Its features include a four-inch heel, fringe and tasseled ankle ties. Aquazzura has alleged that Ivanka Trump and her footwear partner, Marc Fisher Holdings LLC, copied the shoe and sold it much cheaper for $130 as the Hettie.
Last Friday, Aquazzura's attorneys were notified that Ivanka Trump's company, IT Collection LLC, was not willing to produce Ms. Trump for deposition.
Ivanka Trump's company has been trying to distance her from its operations to mitigate the conflict of interest investigation currently being held by the House Judiciary Committee. She resigned from her role leading the business in January, a fact that her company's President, Abigail Klem, reiterates on demand. In March she was appointed by her father as a White House advisor.
The government is inquiring into the extent of her involvement in her personal brand as it relates to her new role as a federal employee.
Trump's attorney Darren Saunders argued in a telephonic court hearing in the Aquazzura case that "She was not involved in the design, promotion or sale of the shoe."
While her brand is aggressively arguing this message, Aquazzura's attorney John Margiotta pointed out that "She’s quoted all over talking about controlling her brand and her name."
Judge Katherine Forrest said she will rule next week on whether Ivanka Trump will testify under oath. She acknowledged Trump's new role as a White House advisor and expressed her hope that the parties can agree to limit questioning of Ms. Trump by first deposing Klem for preliminary information in the case.
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