It’s a battle on the bridal floor as “Say Yes to The Dress” star Hayley Paige claims in a new court filing that her former boss tried to bully her with “constant threats” in a bid to get the rights to her name.
The celebrity wedding designer quit her role at JLM Couture — the bridal conglomerate that sold her goods — last month after falling out with CEO Joseph Murphy over her contract.
As Page Six detailed, Paige was left devastated after Murphy obtained a restraining order banning her from using her social media accounts, including her Instagram account that boasts 1.1 million fans.
She was also forbidden from using her own name in any business endeavors.
Paige filed her response to the temporary restraining order in the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, and claimed that from last May, Murphy “began to escalate his demands” and claimed ownership over her name and personal instagram account @misshayleypaige.
In a bid to smooth things over, she alleges she invited Murphy to a bridal show at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City in October 2020 — but she says that the meeting just made matters more tense.
But when they got there, the court docs allege, “Mr. Murphy was condescending, stating that he was a ‘father figure’ to me, that ‘I will only be good at bridal [rather than other types of fashion],’ that ‘I need him’ to be successful, and he disparaged my fiancé as ‘bad for business.’”
Paige claims that Murphy’s “litigation threats increased” — and that his legal team “ignored emails, texts and phone calls” to set up a mediation.
On December 15, 2020, JLM sued Paige and won a temporary restraining order giving JLM control of her social media.
“Due to the hostile nature of my working environment, the constant threats and legal harassment, and JLM’s various baseless legal claims against me, it became impossible to continue working at JLM. Therefore, I resigned from JLM on December 17, 2020,” she said in the court filing.
She added: “JLM has made no claim of ownership over my personal Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, or Spotify accounts even though the user name and/or handles are also ‘Miss Hayley Paige’ or ‘@misshayleypaige.’”
As fans hit back at JLM, the company banned comments on Paige’s instagram. Paige — who also submitted statements from former JLM employees — claimed that her Instagram is rapidly shedding followers and she fears this will destroy her business.
“My Personal Accounts gave my voice a platform and brought me, and many others, so much joy. I enjoyed using my platform to share my bridal creations during my time with JLM, but that time has come to an end. I ask now that JLM return what is, and always has been, mine,” she said in the papers.
In response, a spokesperson for JLM Couture told Page Six: “JLM Couture rejects, in the strongest terms, Hayley Paige Gutman’s version of events related to her employment. To be clear, at no time did Joe Murphy ever bully Ms. Gutman in regard to the brand’s Instagram account or the Hayley Paige trademark – or any other matter.”
Wedding dress designer Hayley Paige accuses ex-boss of ‘constant threats’ The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Page Six.