JLM Couture Responds to Bridal Designer Hayley Paige's Viral Resignation Video: 'We're Surprised'
The fashion house refutes claims made by the celebrity bridal designer, including that she's lost the rights to the @misshayleypaige social media accounts
In the 8 ½ minute video posted on her personal Instagram account, @allthatglittersonthegram, Gutman revealed she had stepped down as "head designer of my labels with JLM Couture." She also tearfully said that she lost the rights to her own name and social media handles amid an ongoing legal battle with the company.
"JLM Couture has convinced a court to temporarily prevent me from even using my own name in public in any business context, possibly even including announcing what they have done to me. The Court also granted them control of the million-plus follower Instagram account that I started in early 2012, along with my TikTok and Pinterest accounts for their own purposes," Gutman said in the now-viral clip.
However, in an exclusive statement obtained by PEOPLE, a spokesperson for JLM Couture is refuting the claims Gutman made in her video.
"JLM Couture feels compelled to respond to the video Hayley posted on her personal social media account. First, Hayley is incorrect in claiming she did not have a lawyer help her review her employment contracts. She absolutely did consult with her lawyer prior to signing the deal, and there were multiple rounds of negotiations between Hayley and JLM until both parties settled on an agreement, which was also amended later with Hayley’s consent. JLM has always abided by its agreement and obligations to Hayley and is only asking the same in return," the spokesperson tells PEOPLE in response to Gutman's allegation that she signed her Employee Agreement with JLM Couture at age 25 with no lawyer.
"Second, Hayley claims she is barred from accessing the brand’s social media accounts. This is also incorrect. Hayley still has access to the accounts, and JLM Couture encourages and would welcome Hayley to work with us to publish on the brand’s Instagram and other social media platforms posts that are supportive of the Hayley Paige brands," the spokesperson says. "The brands are what everyone, including Hayley, JLM and our retail partners, has worked so hard to build."
"Although a very important player in the bridal market, JLM Couture is a small business. [Founder and CEO] Joe [Murphy] personally started the company in the late '80s and today roughly three out of four employees are women. All upper management, aside from Joe, are women — many of whom have worked here for a decade or more. JLM supports women and pledges to continue to do so," the JLM spokesperson continues.
The brand says they were "disappointed and surprised Hayley resigned from the company during active contract negotiations" after their "decade-long record of success" which grew the Hayley Paige brands into "one of the most successful and recognizable wedding gown brands in the world."
"We have worked collaboratively with Hayley and the dedicated team of designers and assistants to fund and build the brand into the success it is today. We continue to hold Hayley in the highest regard and hope to resolve any differences," the JLM Couture spokesperson says.
In response to JLM's Couture's latest statement, Gutman shared the following with PEOPLE:
"It’s unfortunate that JLM continues to make statements that are inaccurate and hurtful. JLM’s statement that they “encourage” me to post on the @misshayleypaige Instagram account is contradicted by the restraining order that JLM wrote and the Court ordered," she said. "That restraining order – which is public record – prohibits me from using my own personal Instagram account, including prohibiting me from making any posts, without the JLM CEO’s written permission. I have made my position clear that my personal social media accounts should not be taken away and exploited by a corporate entity. I am grateful to my friends, fans, and followers for sticking with me through this ordeal, and I remain hopeful that JLM will do the right thing and return my social media accounts to me."
In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, JLM Couture states that in the Employee Agreement signed by Gutman, she agreed to let the company trademark rights to "Hayley Paige" and all derivatives (the company later filed 10 trademark registrations containing the designer's name). The contract also extended to the social media account @misshayleypaige and other accounts on platforms including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.
However, JLM Couture claimed problems arose when Gutman created a TikTok account with the username @misshayleypaige in Nov. 2019 with videos that "did not properly represent the HP Brands." Then in late 2019, Gutman changed the bio section of the @misshayleypaige Instagram to read "personal & creative account," which JLM Couture said was a breach of their agreement.
"In or about July of 2020, Gutman began posting personal images in addition to bridal images, as well as uploading posts promoting the goods of third parties, such as olive oil, beer and nutritional supplements, none of which were approved by JLM," the court filing reads. "Consumers who followed the Main IG Account do not expect to see salad dressing promotions, fitness videos and scantily clad images as they are not in line with the image JLM presents."
Gutman shared the following exclusive statement with PEOPLE: "The way JLM Couture has behaved is exactly why I don’t wish to be associated with them any longer. JLM made a lot of claims in their lawsuit, and we will have a lot to say about them, in court. We are confident that justice will be done.”
- Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Have Stopped Going to Marriage Counseling, Source Says
- Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas 'Decided Together to Break Up' Over the Phone: Source
- Lil' Kim Talks Iconic MTV VMAs Look: It Was '30 Minutes from Showtime' When Wig 'Came Out Lavender'
- All About Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas' Thriller Deep Water: 'Their Physical Chemistry Was So Intense'