Financier Irwin Jacobs filed a defamation suit against fired Wal-Mart SVP/Marketing Communications Julie Roehm after she accused him of making preferred deals with the retailer and its CEO, H. Lee Scott. The complaint is in response to allegations Roehm made in her legal battle with Wal-Mart. Roehm was fired amid accusations that she had an affair with a subordinate and became too close with an agency the company was reviewing. She denies the allegations and claims Wal-Mart is creating a double standard when Scott violated his own ethics code by accepting gifts from suppliers and engaging in sweetheart business deals. She said Jacobs gave Scott discounts on diamond and yacht purchases and free rides on his personal jets to vacation homes in Florida and Vegas.
In his suit, Jacobs argues her claims are damaging to his personal reputation and his companies, including Jacobs Trading Co., which regularly does business with Wal-Mart, reported The NY Post.
"These false accusations are clearly an attempt to use Mr. Jacobs and his business relationship with Wal-Mart to sensationalize your client's claims," according to the letter, which Jacobs filed with his suit. He says he never sold Scott a diamond and that his boat company Genmar Holdings, sold three Wellcraft brand boats to Scott at "market prices."
The lawsuit, filed in Arkansas, also names three of Roehm's attorneys as defendants.