Parents of a seven-year-old child have sued a childwear brand claiming it forced them to buy child-size clothing, forced them into sexual relationships, and physically abused them.
The lawsuit filed by parents and children against a company called Hush Puppies, which was launched in 2011 and has since grown into a multimillion-dollar global business, says the product has “a history of torturing and emotionally abusing” its users.
“This product has a history of forcing children to do activities they did not want to do,” the complaint said.
“It also has a disturbing history of using sexual and physical violence against its users.”
Hush Puppys founder, Paul Hannon, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The suit alleges that the product “has a long history of inflicting severe emotional trauma on users” and is “a product that has been used by child rapists, child molesters, child abusers, and child predators.”
Hannon is listed as the CEO of the company and a director of Hush.
In 2015, Hush released a report detailing how child abuse in its factories can cost $40 million to $50 million per year, according to its website.
In an interview with ABC News last year, Hannon said he had sold Hush to an online business called “Hush Paws.”
Hancock, the mother of the girl, said the suit was a response to Hush’s marketing materials and a “tactic that they used” to make its products appealing to parents.
“The product is very appealing, and it was a very popular product, and I think that the kids would be very attracted to it, because they are so young,” Hancock said.
Hancock said she and her daughter would often buy Hush clothes, even when the company wasn’t available, because she and the child would feel better about themselves for wearing them.
Hush said in a statement that Hush had a “strong and long-standing relationship with its customers.”
“The suit filed today by parents against Hush Pushes is baseless and without merit,” the statement said.