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Former Tinder CEO strikes back against sexual misconduct accusations with defamation lawsuit – TechCrunch

Former Tinder CEO Greg Blatt has filed a defamation lawsuit in opposition to Sean Rad and Rosette Pambakian, in search of at the very least $50 million in damages and accusing them of getting “conspired to make false allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault against Blatt with the specific intent to damage Blatt’s good name, personal and professional reputation, and credibility.”

In response, Rad and Pambakian’s legal professional Orin Snyder described the go well with as a part of a marketing campaign “to retaliate against and smear a victim of sexual assault and the person who reported it.”

Final 12 months, Rad (Tinder’s co-founder and former CEO), Pambakian (its former vice chairman of promoting and communications) and different Tinder founders and executives filed a lawsuit in opposition to Tinder’s mum or dad firm Match Group and its majority shareholder IAC, accusing them of monetary manipulation to decrease the corporate’s valuation and stripping the plaintiffs of profitable inventory choices.

The go well with additionally accused Blatt (pictured above) of groping and sexually harassing Pambakian on the firm’s 2016 vacation celebration, when Blatt was nonetheless Tinder’s CEO. In response to the go well with, Match and IAC stated the claims have been meritless.

On the time, Pambakian was nonetheless employed at Tinder. She later dropped out of the go well with as a result of an arbitration settlement, and was fired a couple of months after, main her to assert that Match did this “in blatant retaliation for joining a group of colleagues and Tinder’s original founding members in a lawsuit against Match and IAC, standing up for our rights, calling out the company’s CEO Greg for sexual misconduct, and confronting the company about covering up what happened to me.”

Pambakian is now pursuing a separate go well with in opposition to Blatt and Match Group, accusing them of wrongful termination and sexual assault.

Blatt’s new go well with, nevertheless, claims:

Rad and Pambakian have tried to weaponize an necessary social motion, undermining the plight of true victims of sexual abuse by making false accusations in cynical pursuit of a $2 billion windfall … Blatt is predicted to be a key witness for IAC and Match within the Valuation Lawsuit. Damaging Blatt’s credibility and tarnishing his character are necessary components of Pambakian’s and Rad’s litigation technique in that motion.

The go well with additionally says that the encounter with Pambakian on the Tinder vacation celebration concerned consensual flirting and kissing, however that they “never engaged in any further physical encounters” and made mutual apologies the next Monday.

In response to the go well with, Rad filed a grievance months later accusing Blatt of harassing Pambakian, and the grievance “was thoroughly investigated by in-house counsel and two outside law firms,” who concluded that there was no harassment or abuse.

The vacation celebration and Rad’s subsequent grievance are additionally mentioned in a draft of Blatt’s resignation letter from Tinder (which has been obtained by Techand different publications), through which Blatt stated that after becoming a member of a “female executive” and different Tinder workers in a resort room, he “engaged in some snuggling and nuzzling (I can’t come up with words that better describe what I would call the most superficial of human contact) with the female executive.”

Blatt went on to explain his conduct as “really dumb,” whereas additionally insisting that “the snuggling and nuzzling was consensual.”

Blatt’s grievance consists of an e-mail that seems to be from Rad to his monetary advisor, written shortly earlier than Rad’s grievance, through which he wrote about Blatt: “Fuck him. We’re at war. We will destroy him.”

The go well with additionally claims that Rad and the agency Bench Stroll Advisors provided Pambakian tens of millions of {dollars} for collaborating within the lawsuit. (Snyder informed The Verge there have been no upfront funds for participation: “The only payments were triggered by IAC/Match retaliating against plaintiffs by stripping away their hard-earned equity.”)

Right here’s Snyder’s full assertion in response to Blatt’s go well with:

It is a new low for IAC/Match and their former CEO. They proceed to retaliate in opposition to and smear a sufferer of sexual assault and the one who reported it. Their assaults are primarily based on lies and paperwork which might be taken out of context. When all the proof involves mild, it is going to be apparent what occurred right here. It’s shameful that these public corporations are persevering with to cover-up the reality.

And you may learn the total go well with under.

2019-10-Three Blatt Dkt 18 Firs… by Techon Scribd

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