Beanie Babies tycoon Ty Warner broke his silence on the decades-old scandal between him and a former employee.
Warner spoke to The New York Post this past August following the release of The Beanie Bubble, an AppleTV movie that explores the collapse of his toy company. The story paints him as a greedy man who was willing to take advantage of anyone for a profit. It also highlighted the story of Lina Trivedi, a single mother of a special needs child, who claims Warner unfairly cut her out of the Beanie Baby fortune.
The now 50-year-old was a student at DePaul University in Chicago when she was first hired by Ty Warner. At the time, the company was still a startup, and she was the 12th employee to join the endeavor. While on the payroll, she penned poems for over 100 of the plush collectibles.
In the interview, Warner claimed Trivedi’s role in his company’s success was “vastly” overstated. According to him, she did help get the company off the ground and wrote multiple poems, but “so did several other employees.”
He recently spoke to the publication again and shared that he’d be willing to work with Trivedi once more. This time, he gave her more credit and consideration.
“Lina joined Ty Inc. and proved herself to be a talented young woman,” he admitted. “I would be delighted to see her again and catch up. I wish her all the best.”
Former Beanie Babies Employee Responds
Trivedi allegedly quit the company in 1998, citing low pay. She and Warner—who is now worth $5.6 billion—haven’t spoken since she gave her resignation. Trivedi commented on her former boss’ comments, saying they were “a punch to the gut.”
“The [poems], after I left, sucked. “Did you see the one about Cobra? ‘I kill rodents stone cold dead,’” Trivedi told the publication. “People say the poem is what made people connect with them. That’s what gave them that character. And you’re going to minimize that?”
The Beanie Baby craze ended up bringing the company over $1 billion in sales. When Lina Trivedi started with the company, she earned $10 an hour. When she quit, she was making $12 an hour. According to the movie, Trivedi asked her boss for a raise, and he told her he’d go as high as $20 an hour.
Trivedi claims she tried to make amends with Warner years later with a “heartfelt letter.” She even offered to help get Beanie Babies back on the market, but he never responded to her.
She said she’ll take Warner up on his offer to reconnect if he really means it. If it happens, she hopes to update her old poems to fit the modern world.
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