Former Unity Technology VP files lawsuit alleging CEO sexually harassed her


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Unity Technologies, the multibillion-dollar gaming engine, is dealing with a lawsuit from its former VP of worldwide expertise acquisition, Anne Evans, who accuses CEO John Riccitiello of sexual harassment. The sexual harassment allegedly took many varieties — starting from making sexist jokes to propositioning her and different staff for intercourse, to creating references to his erect penis and saying, “I need to fuck you. I need to throw you down on the mattress and fuck you.”

Evans was ultimately terminated and is now suing for retaliation, wrongful termination, failure to stop discrimination, amongst different issues. In a notice to staff, obtained by TechCrunch, Unity Applied sciences Basic Counsel and Chief Authorized Officer Ruth Ann Keene notified staff of the litigation and its plans to defend itself.

In a press release to TechCrunch, a Unity spokesperson stated the allegations are usually not true and that it intends to “vigorously defend towards the false allegations asserted by Anne Evans,” the corporate stated in a press release to TechCrunch.

Within the lawsuit, Evans says the office “was extremely sexualized.” Evans says Riccitiello and different males in administration positions “spoke brazenly about ladies in a sexual method, made sexist jokes, and flirted with and pursued sexual relationships with feminine staff and contractors.”

She goes on to allege within the go well with that Riccitiello would make feedback about how “the best way she walked was ‘attractive’ and the way he couldn't consider she was lesbian.” On one other event on the personal membership The Battery, the lawsuit alleges Riccitiello requested Evans to go to his lodge room with him. She stated no however later came upon Riccitiello had requested two of Evans’ direct reviews to hitch him in his lodge room for a threesome, the lawsuit states.

“All through Evans’ tenure at Unity, Riccitiello often made feedback about all the ladies he slept with, their ages, and what sexual acts they appreciated to carry out with him,” the lawsuit states. “Brown [Unity’s chief people officer], typically would snicker approvingly about Riccitiello’s tales of sexual conquest and later once they began a relationship (as described under) would speak in specific element at work about her and Riccitiello’s intercourse life.”

There are quite a few extra particulars within the go well with that describe situations of sexual harassment by Riccitiello. You'll be able to learn the suit in full here. All through this time, nevertheless, Evans says Riccitiello warned her to not talk about something that occurred between the 2 of them.

Earlier this yr, Unity launched a company-wide survey about tradition, the lawsuit states. Evans says Unity’s head of Americas recruiting, Natalie Mulay, needed to share together with her feedback individuals had made about Evans. Evans, nevertheless, believed that the outcomes have been improperly accessed and reported it to Unity’s head of individuals.

The corporate started investigating the unauthorized entry and talked with Mulay, the lawsuit alleges. Mulay then allegedly threatened to smear Evans in retaliation, saying she would accuse Evans of sexual harassment since they “had a really temporary consensual sexual relationship in early 2016). Mulay ended up following by means of and making an official allegation towards Evans. Evans was cleared of the fees however investigators discovered she had accepted presents prior to now from Mulay, which the corporate stated was towards its coverage. Evans, nevertheless, says in any other case and pointed to how Brown had accepted presents from Riccitiello.

“Unity’s determination to terminate Evans was motivated at the very least in substantial half by her reporting Mulay and Kerr’s improper accessing of confidential personnel info and/or her rejecting the CEO’s sexual advances and defying his warnings to maintain his conduct a secret,” the lawsuit states.

However Unity says that’s not what led to Evans’ termination. As an alternative, a Unity spokesperson stated a third-party investigation discovered Evans “engaged in critical misconduct and established a number of situations during which she demonstrated a gross lapse in judgment.”

Unity says the corporate had been working with Evans on the small print of her departure when she filed the lawsuit.

“Earlier than and all through the investigation, Evans had a number of alternatives to share her considerations about her experiences on the firm by way of confidential and goal mechanisms, but by no means did,” the Unity spokesperson stated. “We take these points significantly at Unity, simply as we did once we discovered about considerations involving Evans. We don't tolerate harassment, and we've got insurance policies in place to deal with relationships within the office.”

You possibly can see the complete e-mail Unity despatched to its staff earlier this week under:

I needed to let you recognize a few authorized case that was filed Wednesday in San Francisco towards Unity. The case was filed by Anne Evans, our former Vice President of recruiting. The grievance is crammed with false allegations, and we intend to defend towards the lawsuit vigorously.

Importantly, a number of months in the past, we carried out a third-party investigation involving Anne’s conduct throughout her employment. The investigation surfaced information that she engaged in critical misconduct and established a number of situations by which she demonstrated a gross lapse in judgment and this led to her termination. This was an undesirable consequence for Anne, and we had been working together with her on the small print of her departure when she filed a public lawsuit that features false and damaging claims towards Unity, its staff and John, particularly.

Earlier than and all through the investigation, Anne had a number of alternatives to share her considerations about her experiences on the firm. As with all of our staff, Anne additionally had entry to quite a lot of goal, confidential assets by means of which to voice her considerations, together with an nameless reporting mechanism. None of those allegations have been introduced forth till the submitting of this grievance.

We're properly ready for the subsequent steps on this authorized matter and in addition anticipate it to turn out to be public, so I needed you to know first.  If in case you have questions or considerations about any of this, please attain out to me.  If anybody from the press contacts you, please refer them to Marisa Graves in PR.

We take these points critically at Unity, simply as we did once we discovered about considerations involving Anne. We don’t tolerate harassment right here, and we now have insurance policies in place to deal with relationships within the office. These are points we talk about with all of you in order that you already know and belief the assets obtainable to you, and we're dedicated to persevering with to take action. As you understand, it's also possible to all the time come on to me.


Ruth Ann Keene