Hewlett-Packard Former CEO Mark Hurd Sex Harassment Scandal Detailed in Letter

Dec 30, 2011 11:15am
gty mark hurd jodi fisher jp 111230 wblog Hewlett Packard Former CEO Mark Hurd Sex Harassment Scandal Detailed in Letter

Getty Images

A letter describing allegations of sexual harassment by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd has surfaced, claiming that the married Hurd repeatedly pressured a female contractor for sex and bragged about his popularity with “many” women, including Sheryl Crow.

Hurd allegedly showed off his checking-account balance of over $1 million to impress the contractor, Jodie Fisher, who made the allegations of harassment.

Fisher hosted executive summit events for HP, earning $30,000.  The letter written by her celebrity attorney Gloria Allred was obtained by the media late Thursday after the Delaware Supreme Court unsealed it. Hurd’s lawyers tried to keep the letter confidential but the court ruled the attorneys did not show that disclosing it would violate California’s privacy rights.

The ruling said information that is only “mildly embarrassing” is not protected from public disclosure, according to the Associated Press.

Hurd, CEO and president of H-P from 2005, resigned in August 2010 after being accused of sexual harassment by Fisher. He received a severance package of $12.2 million. Hurd is now working for HP competitor Oracle as a co-president.

“I realized there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP,” Hurd said in a statement when he resigned.

The letter, obtained by the New York Times, was addressed to Hurd from Allred and dated June 24, 2010. It details how Fisher felt uncomfortable and “baffled” after the two met to discuss potential job hosting events. Allred wrote in the letter that Hurd had seen Fisher on NBC’s reality show, “Age of Love,” that she appeared on in May to June of 2007 and was “quite taken with her.”

The letter describes that he “hand-picked” her to host H-P events, “but more accurately, to be with you and accompany you when you were out of town at numerous HP events.”

“Looking at what ensued over the next two years, it is clear 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,” Allred wrote to Hurd.

Allred and H-P declined to comment on the letter. Oracle did not immediately return a request for comment.

Fisher said she found it “odd” she and Hurd talked “mainly of personal things” at first and that her second interview with Hurd over drinks and dinner “felt more like a date.”  Hurd revealed he was married with two children, while Fisher was a single mom raising a son. After Hurd asked her if there was anything she should disclose before working for H-P, she said she posed for Playboy and had two DUI’s in her early 20s but had been sober for over 20 years.

The letter goes on to describe  instances in which Hurd “relentlessly” attempted to “cajole her into having sex with (him).”

During Fisher’s first H-P event in Atlanta, Hurd allegedly invited Fisher up to his room to show her documents pertaining to the Chinese vice-premier, whom Hurd said he was later meeting. Even after calling her sponsor for Alcoholics Anonymous for advice, she reluctantly went to his room.

In the room, Hurd allegedly touched her breast twice then laughed it off when she pointed it out to him. Allred writes that after chatting he asked Fisher, “So, you’ll stay the night, right? You’ll stay?”

Fisher rejected his invitation and left “deeply upset,” Allred wrote.

Hurd allegedly said no one had ever rejected him before and appeared “clearly miffed.”

He later told Fisher about “many different women that were crazy about (him)…including Sheryl Crow.”

Sheryl Crow’s manager responded to a request for comment from ABC News and wrote in an email, “I don’t think she even knows him.”

After Fisher rejected Hurd one last time in October 2009, she was not hired for future H-P events, Allred wrote.

Although an investigation by HP did not find evidence to support Fisher’s harassment claim, it found Hurd filed inaccurate expense reports for his outings with Fisher.

HP shareholder Ernesto Espinoza had sued to have the letter unsealed, the AP reported.  Hurd’s attorney, Amy Wintersheimer, said the letter “is filled with inaccuracies.”

“The truth is, there never was any sexual harassment, which HP’s investigation confirmed, and there never was any sexual relationship, which Ms. Fisher has confirmed,” Wintersheimer said in a statement.

SHOWS:
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus