Interview Magazine Shuts Down After Raft of Wage, Harassment Lawsuits

A display of Interview magazines at the Andy Warhol museum. Wikimedia Commons

After almost 50 years, Interview magazine is shutting down.

Several staffers posted on Twitter this morning that the magazine had folded.

A source told Observer the publication is liquidating its assets through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Interview has been embroiled in tabloid drama over the past few weeks, ever since former editorial director Fabien Baron sued the magazine for $600,000.

Baron resigned from Interview in April after nearly 10 years at the glossy publication. He said in court papers that he had been hired to save the magazine in 2009—and he did, upping the circulation to over 200,000 subscribers.

But Baron now claims the company stiffed him on over $500,000 in invoices over the last three years. Interview also allegedly owes his stylist wife Ludivine Poiblanc $66,000.

“Defendants have been completely derelict in fulfilling their legal requirement,” the lawsuit reads.

That wasn’t Interview‘s only legal headache. overstepping the professional line

Former associate publisher Jane Katz also claims Interview owes her unpaid wages to the tune of $230,000. Katz further said she was unjustly fired.

And former Interview president Dan Ragone says the magazine owes him $170,000.

On the flip side, Deborah Blasucci—who worked in various capacities at Interview for 30 years—sued company leadership in February. She claimed she was fired because she made too much money.

Three women have also accused creative director Karl Templer of “overstepping the professional line,” a charge he vehemently denies.

Interview was founded by Andy Warhol in 1969 and sold to Brant Publications after his death in 1987. Peter Brant owns the magazine, while his daughter Kelly is the president.

The publication was often called “The Crystal Ball of Pop.” The magazine’s articles were often unedited so as to mimic the style of Warhol’s books.

Former editor Ingrid Sischy described the magazine as “dishy but serious.”

“Interruptions were allowed and often could take conversations in different directions,” she said in a 2004 interview to promote a book about the magazine’s early years. “The beauty of doing interviews for this magazine is the joy of discovery. We try to get full portraits of people.”

Recent examples of this include Seth Rogen’s conversation with rapper 21 Savage, Janet Mock’s freewheeling interview with Kim Kardashian and a chat with the choreographer of Childish Gambin’s This Is America.

Truman Capote was one of Interview‘s earliest contributors, and Warhol also conducted many interviews.

In 1980, he sat down with Diana Ross in a New York restaurant. It started out as a discussion of her career, but ended up a commentary on the establishment’s food—at one point, Ross ordered “a heaping helping of chocolate mousse.”

One of the magazine’s other hallmarks was Q & Andy, a list of 15 questions devised by Warhol which celeb contributors often filled out. Recent participants included Roseanne BarrAndrew Lloyd Webber, Tommy Wiseau, Spike Lee, Kathy Bates and Mel Brooks.

Interview also always stuck to its guns. In a 2016 Q & Andy, Interview reiterated its support for Mariah Carey—the magazine had called her “the world’s biggest diva” in a 2007 cover story.

Interview Magazine Shuts Down After Raft of Wage, Harassment Lawsuits