Letter Detailing Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Former HP CEO Released

Those of you who still remember the summer of 2010 may recall when then-CEO of HP Mark “That’s Not What I” Hurd resigned following vague mentions of an inappropriate relationship with a female contractor. Yesterday, a court ordered that a letter, detailing allegations of sexual harassment, sent in July 2010 from the contractor’s lawyer to Hurd, could be released to the public.

In the letter, penned by celebrity legal eagle Gloria Allred, it goes through the timeline of how Hurd apparently decided to contact the woman after seeing her on NBC reality show “Age of Love.”

According to the letter, Hurd told the woman he wanted to hire her to play hostess to a handful of HP events, but Allred accuses the executive of having ulterior motives:

Looking at what ensued over the next two years, it is clear that you had designs to make her your lover from the onset using your status and authority as CEO of HP and HP monies expecting her to be with you. It is appalling that you would use HP revenues for the purpose of procuring female companionship and romance under the guise of business.

The letter details the series of dinner meetings, which the woman claims felt more like dates than business chats, leading up to her being hired.

Eventually, she signed a contract to host six events for $30,000. After the first such event, the contractor claims Hurd invited her up to his hotel room to look at some documents pertaining to his upcoming meeting with the Chinese Vice-Premier.

Allred says her client reluctantly agreed to meet in his room, but that once there he allegedly put his hand on her breast and said, “So, you’ll stay the night, right?”

The woman says she did not stay but that this “was the beginning of an uncomfortable dance that went on for almost two years.”

The letter then goes on to detail claims that Hurd attempted to foster a romantic relationship over the next several months as both of them hopped around the world attending executive retreats and other events.

“She continually had to put you off, make excuses, scurry away or simply leave,” writes Allred. “Oftentimes you would be irritated and angry and on a few occasions you were so angry when she put you off, she expected to get fired.”

The contractor claims that Hurd offered her a contract worth $100,000 but “reneged realizing you would not be able to see her in the manner you wished.”

Things apparently came to a head in October 2009 in Boise, where Hurd allegedly kissed the contractor before she was able to, according to her lawyer, feign illness and head off to her own room.

“”She knew that if she did not have sex with you soon, her job was over, which is exactly what occurred,” writes Allred.

The folks at the Chicago Tribune have uploaded the entire letter HERE for your reading enjoyment.

Comments

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  1. Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

    There is so much class contained here that I gotta put on my top hat and monocle.

    q.o

  2. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    Just scanning the headline, and assuming the photo was a generic stock, I was kind o’ hoping this was about Carly Fiorina.

    Finally a high power woman being accused. Would have been a true blow for equal rights.

  3. jpdanzig says:

    It sounds like his hard drive is working overtime!

  4. r-nice says:

    Kinda late now, I had forgotten all about that whole situation

  5. Bsamm09 says:

    “Allred says her client reluctantly agreed to meet in his room, but that once there he allegedly put his hand on her breast and said, “So, you’ll stay the night, right?”

    That’s not allowed!?!?

  6. bethshanin says:

    God, it’s so hard to date now-a-days. Used to be the reason you worked your way to the top was to get som hot steno-pool ass.

  7. Andy Dufresne says:

    I always start out a first date by showing the girl my checking account balance. 60% of the time, it works all the time.

  8. awesome anna says:

    Umm.. not to blame the victim at all (even if it sounds like it) but after the first instance of him touching her breast why didn’t she just quit? I know it’s hard to say what you would actually do in that situation, but sticking around for 2 years of harassment doesn’t make sense to me, as a woman. I have been harassed at two different jobs and reported them immediately and a stop was put to it. I left one company and the other guy was moved to a different department and had to apologize. No amount of money would make me put up with it for two years. I promise I’m not blaming the victim, I’m just questioning why it went on for so long.

    • sadie kate says:

      You actually are totally blaming the victim right now. I promise.

      It’s great that you had the emotional and financial wherewithal to be able to stop the harassment you faced by complaining or leaving. Not every woman has that. The fact is, in these situations, a) the complainant is not always believed and therefore nothing is done about it b) the complainant cannot afford to just leave a job and c) even if the complainant CAN afford to leave, she shouldn’t have to lose revenue because her boss is trying to use his power position to leverage unwanted sex.

      When you say she should have done anything other than what she did, you are victim-blaming. You asked why she did not leave or complain sooner; you did not ask why he harassed her in the first place. You gave him, the harasser, zero responsibility in your comment and put it all on the victim.

      • awesome anna says:

        “The letter details the series of dinner meetings, which the woman claims felt more like dates than business chats, leading up to her being hired.

        Eventually, she signed a contract to host six events for $30,000.”

        She didn’t have to sign the contract if she already felt uncomfortable. She was obviously doing something to make income before hand… and decided at some point to continue doing something she felt uncomfortable with to make more money.

        He harassed her because he’s a jerk, that’s pretty simple. I don’t need to explain why someone harassed someone else, that’s an obvious thing to figure out on your own.

        I’m not saying she deserved it or asked for it, but one has a choice. She chose, even though she felt uncomfortable, to continue doing business for 2 years. Then filed a lawsuit…..

        My comment was more rhetorical as to lamenting.. gee I wonder why she stuck around for 2 years if it was that bad, surely there must have been some other choice, I’m curious as to what other circumstances there were where she felt she had to stay….. but go ahead and interpret as you will, since that’s what everyone on the internet does anyway.

        • little stripes says:

          “She didn’t have to sign the contract if she already felt uncomfortable. She was obviously doing something to make income before hand..”

          Um, how do you know this?

          You are victim blaming. SHE DID NOT ASK TO BE SEXUALLY HARASSED. This is simple. She did nothing wrong. If you say, “I don’t mean to victim blame, but…” you are victim blaming.”

          Have you ever been sexually harassed? No? Then you have no idea what it’s like. It’s confusing and shaming and not always 100% clear until hindsight kicks in.

          Her reasons for not taking a job SHOULD NEVER BE “so she doesn’t get sexually harassed”. Essentially, what you’re saying is, oh, jeeeeze, if she just hadn’t taken a legitimate job, then she wouldn’t have been sexually harassed. Ergo, it’s her fault because she dared take a paying, legitimate job.

          You’re blaming the victim. She did nothing wrong. The douchebag who sexually harassed her is 100% at fault.

          Why aren’t you focusing on the one who did the sexual harassing? Oh, right, because the slut asked for it by daring to be a woman who accepted a paying, legitimate job.

          • Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

            +1

            Her reasons for not taking a job SHOULD NEVER BE “so she doesn’t get sexually harassed”.

            Seriously, we’re past the point in our evolution in which the only way a woman can get a job is if she puts out, or be subjected to mistreatment and harassment.

            • NebraskaDan says:

              We aren’t past that point. Unfortunately.

              That being said, I wouldn’t accept a contract if the reasons said contract was being offered was that I’m a fine piece of ass. If she had self respect, she would have walked away. She was okay with the fact that that DAT ASS got her a $30,000 contract. Sorry, she knew the dealski when she took that contract. Takes two to tango.

              • little stripes says:

                Wow. It takes two to sexually harass? You’re a misogynist asshole. She did nothing wrong. Fuck you. Something tells me you’ve crossed the line yourself and you’re just getting defensive and trying to rationalize. You’re a pig.

              • Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

                Indeed, screw her for being attractive. She should have known better, being pretty and shit, who did she think she is? Anyone who is remotely attractive is fair game for being harassed and mistreated. You’re beautiful? Then come sit on my lap because you know the score, sugar tits, it’s the only thing you’re good for.

                Seriously? Thanks for playing Mr. 1950’s, this isn’t Mad Men, go piss up a rope.

          • George4478 says:

            “She didn’t have to sign the contract if she already felt uncomfortable. She was obviously doing something to make income before hand..”

            Um, how do you know this?
            —————————————————–

            Because the letter said she was working and she was picked for the HP interviews because of this work.

            She agreed to work with Hurd AFTER he harassed her. She voluntarily took a job to work with a man she knew to be a harasser. She knowingly put herself in a position where more harassment was likely. Does a person bear no responsibility for their actions, even when well-informed of the situation?

            She took a job to be with the person who was already harassing her. Contrast this with the majority of cases in which women cannot get away from their harasser without quitting/moving.

            Stopping harassment involves 2 things: getting outside people involved and/or limiting contact with the harasser. She has the option to do both; she chose to do neither.

            I wonder how much this will play into the lawsuit.

          • awesome anna says:

            “Have you ever been sexually harassed? No? Then you have no idea what it’s like. It’s confusing and shaming and not always 100% clear until hindsight kicks in.”

            Umm.. re-read what I wrote and you’ll see that YES I WAS AT TWO DIFFERENT JOBS AND THERE WERE TWO DIFFERENT OUTCOMES. Way to jump to conclusions lol

        • jeni1122 says:

          You know, I am probably going to get slaughtered for this, but I kind of see your point. I worked in construction for a long time in an upper administrative role that required me to go on site quite a bit. Sexually harassment seemed to be part of the game and after a while, it really started to bother me. I let HR know and they tried to fix the issue once it really seemed to get serious, however it never fully quit.

          I finally decided to quit and locate another position in the tech field. They knew that I was quitting because of the sexual harassment so they paid me a settlement so I would not talk sue them and I was OK with that. I decided that I had had enough and I found another situation that was a lot better for me. I know not everyone has this option, but I did and I took it without any regrets.

          Could I have sued their asses off? Hell yeah, I could have. Would I have made some money? Probably. But I decided this was not the route I wanted to go. Something to think about is law suits take a long time and they make you relive the experience over and over again. I just wanted it to be done.

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      And how well do you suppose the company would have responded if, in either instance, the guy who was harassing you happened to be the CEO of said company?

      “No problem, Awesome Anna; We’ll assign him to another department and have his supervisor issue him a formal reprimand.”

    • runswithscissors says:

      A woman should never have to quit a job and lose her income in order not to be sexually harassed. That’s simply not acceptable, to force her to either quit or put up with it.

    • ScramDiggyBooBoo says:

      Hmmm….Ever think that she wanted it to go so long so that she could milk some money at a later time? She HAD to make sure that she had enough dirt on him to make something stick, and it did. I bet she can show HIM a million dollar checking account now too! I’m not saying that sexual harrassment, but i don’t buy that she “had” to go do things with him, in fear of losing her job. If she was that worried about her job, how about a “hey bastard, keep hitting on me and i’m gonna bring you down, and if you fire me, it’ll be much worse pervert!”

      As the original comment goes, why did it take YEARS to do something if she felt so uncomfortable???

  9. JiminyChristmas says:

    Hey, give the guy a break, he’s a Job Creator. I’ll grant that the job he was trying to create was ‘prostitute’ but we are supposed to look up to rich assho.., I mean Job Creators.

    Whenever I hear stories like this my first thought is always “What the hell was he thinking?” But then when you stop and ponder it, if you start with the assumption that he has no personal integrity, he can’t lose. If he offers a woman a lucrative contract and she jumps in the sack with him – Win! If he gets sued for sexual harassment the company pays the legal bills and he gets a $12 million severance package – Win! Even if his wife divorced him and took half his money he would still be set for life – Win!

  10. Extended-Warranty says:

    The boob grab that destroyed a company.

  11. gman863 says:

    Dear Penthouse,

    I’m a top executive at a Fortune 500 company. I never thought I’d write a letter like this, but there was this really hot chick with big tits…

  12. ScramDiggyBooBoo says:

    Hmmm….Ever think that she wanted it to go so long so that she could milk some money at a later time? She HAD to make sure that she had enough dirt on him to make something stick, and it did. I bet she can show HIM a million dollar checking account now too! I’m not saying that sexual harrassment is not evil and real, but i don’t buy that she “had” to go do things with him, in fear of losing her job. If she was that worried about her job, how about a “hey bastard, keep hitting on me and i’m gonna bring you down, and if you fire me, it’ll be much worse pervert!”

    As the original comment goes, why did it take YEARS to do something if she felt so uncomfortable???

    • iesika says:

      I don’t know, maybe she liked her job, except for the harassment part. Maybe she thought she’d handled it by telling him to stop, and then thought she’d handled it by telling HR, etc etc.

      Maybe she thought he’d get the hint or get tired of trying and leave her alone.

      I don’t know why your automatic assumption is “she’s an evil money grabbing bitch.” Maybe you should be asking why a guy spent two years harassing and pursuing a woman who’d turned him down repeatedly. I don’t think she’s the one with the problem, here, except so far as her problem was him.