Gloria Allred Represents Woman in HP Mark Hurd Resignation

Gloria Allred, who represents the woman who made a sexual harassment complaint against HP's Mark Hurd, has released a statement on behalf of her client, 50 year old occasional actress Jodie Fisher, in which Fisher says she never intended for Hurd to leave the company and they never had an intimate relationship or an affair.

It's not clear whether Allred filed a complaint with HP or just wrote a letter to Mark Hurd with her client's complaints, which he then turned over to HP. Either way, since a settlement was involved, there was more than one communication. And however it was delivered, HP conducted an investigation, finding no violation of its sexual harrassment policy, just expense account discrepancies, which were associated with Fisher. So what was in the initial complaint/letter?

In her complaint to HP, however, the woman said she felt pressured to have sex, according to a source, who said Hurd also has denied that.

Was she just seeking money? Sounds like it, since Fisher says she has "privately settled" her issues with Hurd, "without litigation."

Were the allegations embellished? Would you be surprised if they were?

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    I don't get what happened here (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 07:51:19 AM EST
    He got fired, ostensibly, for falsifying expense accounts that were somehow related to this, yet she accused him of sexual harassment.  If she wasn't cooperating, what was he spending the money on, chasing her around the world?

    And if he was just a "mark" for an unscrupulous female and there was nothing to the accusation, again, what was he falsifying expense reports for, and to the extent that he had to resign?

    I confess I'm getting a little weary of the "unscrupulous female" explanations for these things.  Sometimes that seems clearly what's going on (Al Gore), but powerful males with an overweening sense of entitlement actually do these things to women below them in the hierarchy.  I've seen similar things play out twice in companies I worked for in the past.

    As for the money she got from him-- I don't think it's something I would do, but I can absolutely understand it and don't really have a problem with it.  If I were being hotly pursued by the CEO or other high-ranking type, against my wishes, and I'd tried everything I could to call him off without risking losing my job, then ended up having to leave my job anyway because of it, I'd sure as heck feel entitled to some compensation.

    The whole thing makes me wonder whether (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 08:36:35 AM EST
    there isn't some "history" with Hurd, either in the questionable-expenses area or the harassing-women area; otherwise, I don't completely understand the haste with which Hurd was fired: the expenses in question are probably chump change, and their internal investigation cleared him of the harassment charge.

    Here's what bothers me: the media seem intent on only reporting on the crazy-woman-goes-after-prominent/rich-man (Al Gore, Rick Pitino, to name two recent cases), but I know, as sure as I'm sitting here, that high-priced legal efforts are being undertaken every day to overpower the valid claims of women who have been harassed, and who have no equivalent means to fight for justice or redress.

    And, because I know this is happening, I also know that sometimes the "crazy woman" being portrayed in the media isn't really crazy at all, but if, in the court of public opinion, she can be made to seem like a money-hungry lunatic, things will turn out just fine for the  corporate exec or prominent public figure who harassed her, and (often) more than a few before someone finally decided to fight back.

    As for Gloria Allred, yes, she has a reputation, but I have to say that, given the likelihood that significant pressure might be brought to bear against Fisher, I don't blame her - Fisher - at all for wanting an attorney who would be ready to fight the anticipated fire from HP with some fire of her own.  

    The fact that this ended very quietly, with Hurd settling with Fisher, and HP firing him, means something, but the question that hasn't been answered is, what?

    Agreed entirely (none / 0) (#5)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 08:52:53 AM EST
    and the same thing occurred to me, that there's likely some kind of history here for the board to force the resignation of the CEO.

    Sexual harassers tend to be repeat offenders, and often compulsives.  This guy could have just been infatuated with this one woman and pursued her aggressively, but my bet is there's a record there of suggestions and unproved (and unpublicized) accusations from other women or he wouldn't have been sumarily tossed for this one.

    We had one of those in a company I worked for, a department head who came right out of the box on his first day at the company making sly suggestive remarks to many of the women in the company.  Then one day I overheard in the restroom a couple of the lower-level women in his department commiserating about the things he'd said to them-- calling them in to private meetings in his office and grilling them about the details of their sex lives with their boyfriends-- way, way, way, way over the line.

    I went straight to my boss, who consulted with a couple of other department heads, and they decided there wasn't enough there to do much other than have a discussion about sexual harassment in general at the next dept. heads meeting, hoping he'd take the hint. (hah)

    Then just a couple weeks later, an extremely indignant female client of the company called the owner to complain this man had leered at her and then passed her a note and his room key at a company-sponsored trade show, for gawd's sakes.

    That was taken seriously, and he was gone the next day.  Come to find out, of course, he'd been allowed to resign from his last job for a series of exactly this kind of incidents.


    Newest angle the media is taking (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:05:51 AM EST
    She was apparently on some soft core p*rn

    This kind of extortion is getting to be slam dunk. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 02:47:59 AM EST
    A prominent person has no chance against someone making a claim like this.  Actually I should say a prominent person or "mark" has no chance against someone whose lawyer says they are going to make a claim like this.  The complainer needs only to tell the lawyer that the "mark" said something or did  something.  Only access to the complainer by the "mark" is needed.  No action has to be verified unless a criminal complaint is made.

    Then the lawyer and the complainer need only to sit back and wait for an "offer" to be made and they can skip to the bank.

    Yes some access by the complainer to the "mark" needs to be established, but this could be a car ride, or a visit to a closed office, a ride in an elevator, or in this case a dinner.

    In the Letterman case, the producer guy made the mistake of trying to do the business himself in person rather than having a lawyer tell Mr Letterman or his representative that the producer had written a script about Mr Letterman and that the producer was going to give Mr Letterman the opportunity to review it and deny certain points.  If that guy had done that he would be sitting pretty with a few million right now, and not sitting in a jail cell.

    Maybe, just maybe (none / 0) (#2)
    by ding7777 on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 07:41:15 AM EST
    the allegation is that Hurd was trying to p*mp her to others

    "she felt pressured to have sex"

    Part of Settlement Agreement (none / 0) (#6)
    by Untold Story on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 09:34:39 AM EST
    would be for her to indicate no intimate relationship, imo.

    The hush money wasn't much, seems to be in the range of $1,000 to $20,000 that he put on his expense account. Wonder how that amount could get him fired . . .

    She must have had a case, otherwise, Allred would not have gotten involved, imo.  

    The private payment of the settlement agreement must have been substantial and why was it settled so quickly? June is when Allred contacted HP.

    He must have a history of this stuff - it may become another Tiger Woods story, with more porn actresses coming out of the woodwork.

    this sort of thing (none / 0) (#7)
    by cpinva on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:02:08 AM EST
    doesn't occur in a vacuum, at that level of the corporate hierarchy. my guess (and it's just a guess): it turns out he has a history, and she was the one who finally rang the bell on him.

    Why is it always the "women" (none / 0) (#9)
    by Madeline on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 02:20:58 PM EST
    need to be given the leeway in re to allegations?

    I don't believe that the press is against all women and try to make them look at fault.  I really don't.

    What I do know is - yes, there are women with out the means to an Allard who just brush it off or do whatever to keep the job.  The women who go to her seem to know money would be the payoff and quickly.

    If this woman wanted to get the word out there about what he did instead of the hush hush with a few bucks thrown her way, she would do it.  Keeping the 'secret' of what really happened is just as ugly to me as going deliberately after money.

    I was so appalled at the women in the Tiger Woods debacle and their tripping over each other to get press and paid interviews that I almost threw up.  I am getting tired of hearing about Allard's money trains. It is now so suspect that it is a joke.

    And if you are a woman and a man harasses you or makes a suggestion you don't like, well...you know what to do.