Jenn Allen, an ex-girlfriend of Techcrunch/Crunchfund Founder Michael Arrington, recently took to Facebook to make abuse allegations against him. While rape was not mentioned in the initial post, she later brought that up in comments on a Gawker article about her first post. Arrington, who has strongly denied any abuse or rape, has now filed a suit against Allen.
Here's what Allen said in her initial post:
Last post on someone i’m completely over. I’ve never been lonelier in my entire life. To all my friends who loved me for who I am – thank you. Power hungry people, I loved Michael Arrington for 8+ years starting when i implemented Eurekster search at the time on Techcrunch in 2006 and throughout the years i didn’t know he cheated on me multiple times, then tells people it was me immediately after he did it. It hurts when you love someone borderline and they can’t feel anything at all for you, and threaten to murder you if you told anyone about the physical abuse – all for keeping his reputation. The emotional abuse was equally bad. On a positive note, it can’t get any worse than this and I can’t get myself of this bed.
And here's what she said in the comments on the Gawker article:
I've looked inward and outward long enough to finally say something and know exactly why I had to say it. His lies, abuse, threats and what he did to a friend of mine 5 months ago was unforgivable as well. He raped her, and she told me in person he called her to confirm he did it after the fact. I'll leave it up to her if she ever wants to report it or say anything. This madness needs to stop, or he needs to start controlling his rage and rape 'disorder.'
Arrington remained quiet for a period, while others rushed to throw in their judgments of his character, until finally, he put out a statement saying:
There have been some extremely serious and criminal allegations against me over the last week. All of the allegations are completely untrue, and I’ve hired a law firm to represent me in the legal actions against the offending parties.
I know this isn’t, for now, much information. I will have a full and complete response to these allegations sometime later this week. My goal will be to direct as much sunlight as possible on the issues so that the absolute truth can be known and I can begin to put my life back together.
I’ve also asked my attorneys to contact appropriate law enforcement agencies about these false allegations. Given the gravity of the claims, I think it’s important that the police be involved in this now.
The whole thing had largely been ignored by the media and blogs other than a select few, until Arrington's statement, then everyone started covering it. Likewise when former TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde jumped to Arrington's defense. She wrote:
During my five years at TechCrunch, there were no complaints or cases of sexual harassment or misconduct against Michael Arrington. If there had been any rumors of misconduct from staff or other third parties, I would have taken the matters seriously and investigated them. Many people, including Michael’s friends and girlfriends, sought me out as a confidante for disagreements or challenges they faced with Michael, so I would have been aware of rumored bad behavior.
You can read her full post here.
About a month ago, Arrington posted a detailed letter refuting the allegations. Here's that letter:
And now this week, the lawsuit has been filed. In it, Arrington alleges that Allen felt "betrayed and slighted," and aimed to "destroy his reputation and to deter third persons from associating with him." The suit includes a demand for jury trial, and seeks $75,000 in damages.
Here's the court document: