via press release:
E! Investigates: A Designer’s Downfall
E!'s Laura Ling Reveals The Sordid Tale Of Anand Jon -Fashion Designer Who Lost It All
"I was very uncomfortable. Because I knew that when you're dealing with as many women as he was dealing with, whether you're doing something inappropriate or not inappropriate, they're going to get upset and once they start pointing a finger, it might end up derailing everything..." - Don Derbigny, Jon's Former Business Partner.
"It was completely a travesty of justice because we proved beyond doubt in court that this was a conspiracy." Sanjana Jon, Anand Jon's Sister.
(Los Angeles, CA, September 7, 2011) -- In 2006, fashion designer Anand Jon was honored as one of Newsweek’s “10 People To Watch,” an accolade he shared with then-Senator Barack Obama. Two years later, Jon was sitting alone in a jail cell, convicted of 14 felonies and 2 misdemeanors, including forcible rape. In “E! Investigates: A Designer’s Downfall,” host Laura Ling and the E! Investigates team delve deep into the sensational web of fame, sex and accusations, revealing the promising young fashion designer’s swift fall from grace. With interviews from his former business partner, publicist, assistants, victims and supporters, E! Investigates paints a picture ofwith unlimited potential...until everything fell apart at the seams. E! Investigates: A Designer’s Downfall premieres on September 14 at 10:00 PM only on E!
By age 30, Jon firmly cemented himself as one of NYC's elite, and his artistic designs earned him great respect in a cut-throat fashion industry. He was hob-knobbing with socialites like Paris Hilton and was usually photographed about town with a bevy of young models. However, Jon's fondness for beautiful young women raised questions with of some of his peers. Chris Hulbert, Jon’s former publicist tells Ling, "I brought a model to one of his events. He said, 'I would like to have sex with you.'”
According to court documents, Jon met a lot of young women through amateur modeling websites. Many of the girls were just starting in the business so when Jon, a reputable designer, contacted them, they often believed it could be their big break. One such young girl named Jessie met Jon in Los Angeles. After their encounter, she went to police and claimed she was raped. After Jessie told her story, more accusations against the designer began to surface. By 2007, 21 women had testified against Jon as part of a Grand Jury investigation. At his trial in 2008, Jon was found guilty of 14 felonies, including one count of forcible rape - against Jessie. To this day, Jon and his family maintain his innocence. "We know he is innocent, we're completely standing with him and we know he'll come out. God is with us," said Sanjana Jon, Jon’s sister.
In this hour of E! Investigates, Laura Ling examines the two sides of this story. On the one hand, Jon and his sister, Sanjana Jon, claim these accusations are false and they have been fighting tirelessly to prove his innocence. On the other hand, the staggering number of accusers and their detailed accounts leave many convinced that Jon is guilty as charged. Did the intoxicating mix of celebrity, power and fame turn this once respected fashion icon into a criminal? Host Laura Ling charts his story when E! Investigates: A Designer’s Downfall premieres on September 14th at 10:00 PM only on E!.