The letter that led to the ouster of former HP CEO Mark Hurd has gone public, exposing details of Hurd's alleged sexual harassment and a possible leak of insider information.
Questions remain, however, as to whether the letter's allegations are true.
Attorney Gloria Allred wrote the eight-page letter to Mark Hurd in 2010, accusing Hurd of sexually harassing HP contractor Jodie Fisher. Hurd had hired Fisher, a reality TV show contestant and porn actress, to host corporate events, The New York Times reports.
But instead of pursuing a business relationship, Mark Hurd made aggressive, unwanted romantic advances toward Fisher, Allred's letter claims. "[I]t is clear you had designs to make her your lover from the onset, using your status and authority as CEO of HP," the letter says, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Allred's letter to Mark Hurd claims Hurd:
- Fondled Fisher in a hotel room and asked her to spend the night with him after an HP conference.
- Grabbed and kissed Fisher, among other romantic advances that Fisher continued to rebuff.
- Told Fisher that several women "were crazy about" him, including singer Sheryl Crow and two regular sexual partners in New York and San Francisco.
Mark Hurd's alleged conduct left Fisher feeling "violated, used, and degraded," Allred's letter states. Hurd resigned from HP after an internal investigation.
But the letter's most damaging allegation could be one incident in which Mark Hurd allegedly told Fisher about HP's secret negotiations to buy tech company EDS. The $14 billion deal went through in 2008.
If the allegation is true, Hurd may have illegally leaked insider information, CNN reports. An internal HP investigation apparently failed to prove that happened.
The truth of the letter's other accusations is also in dispute. Fisher has said the letter contains "many inaccuracies," and it was supposed to remain sealed as part of Hurd's settlement with Fisher, CNN reports.
But Delaware's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday the letter should be made public, with redactions, because it does not fall under California's privacy protections. The ruling was part of an HP shareholder's lawsuit to uncover possible wrongdoing surrounding the Hurd scandal.
Reuters has posted Allred's entire letter to Mark Hurd, with redactions, and you can read the document here. Attorneys for Mark Hurd, now with tech rival Oracle, declined to comment.
- Ex-HP Chief Hurd's Letter From Lawyer Ruled Public Document (Bloomberg)
- Ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd Wants to Keep Damaging Letter Secret (FindLaw's In House)
- Employee Rights: Sexual Harassment (FindLaw)
- Mark Hurd Separation and Release Agreement (FindLaw)