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French Fashion Mavens Slapped With Lawsuit After Catwalk Smackdown

By James Fanelli | September 12, 2012 2:02pm | Updated on September 12, 2012 3:25pm

LINCOLN CENTER — A fashion PR executive didn't turn the other cheek when a fuming French stylist allegedly slapped her across the face at designer Zac Posen's fashion show last week — she sued.

Lynn Tesoro filed a $1 million lawsuit against haute couture heavyweight Marie-Jose Susskind-Jalou and her daughters, Jennifer Eymere and Vanessa Bellugeon, accusing them of assaulting and defaming her just before the start of the Sept. 9 show at Avery Fisher Hall.

Susskind-Jalou, the president of French publishing house Jalou, and her children reportedly threw a fit when they lost their front row seats after fire marshals ordered show organizers to remove 60 chairs.

Tesoro, whose firm HL Group reps Posen, tried to find other seats for the galled Gallic trio, but the relocation didn't sit well with them, according to Women's Wear Daily.

The three left in a huff but not before they dressed down Tesoro and Eymere allegedly slapped her.

Eymere later told Women's Wear Daily that she wanted Tesoro to zip her lip, but the flack didn't listen.

"I said: 'Don't speak to my mum like this. You have to stop speaking to her like that,'" Eymere said to the trade publication.

"I said: 'Be careful, I am going to slap you,' and she kept doing it, and it just happened.

"I am sorry, I know it's bad to do that. It was a small slap. It was not strong. I didn't hurt her - it was just to humiliate her. She humiliated my mum, and I humiliated her in front of her crew. Voilà. I just said at the end: 'Now you know you don't f--- with French people.'"

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, claims the three ladies physically assaulted Tesoro with "the intentional infliction of emotional distress" and made defamtory statements about her business.

Tesoro and her lawyer did not return calls for comment.

Eymere, a stylist for Jalou, and Bellugeon, a stylist for the French fashion weekly L'Officiel, did not respond to requests for comments. Susskind-Jalou could not immediately be reached.

Posen's show featured supermodel Naomi Campbell, who is known for her off-the-runway rage. She has been accused of assaulting at least six of her employees, including a 2007 tantrum when she threw cell phone at a maid's head.