The Full Sexual Fumblings That Got HP CEO Mark Hurd Fired

Illustration for article titled The Full Sexual Fumblings That Got HP CEO Mark Hurd Fired

It's only been a little over a year since former HP CEO Mark Hurd resigned in a hailstorm of innuendo and disgrace, but—with HP having had two CEOs and a webOS saga since then—it already feels like ancient history. So this, er, blow by blow of sexual harassment charges dug up by AllThingsD? Strictly for you lovers of antiquities. And late night hotel room propositions.

The letter below was written on behalf of Hurd accuser Jodie Fischer, the former Playboy poser and then-HP marketing person allegedly propositioned by Hurd. Said allegations are highlighted in detail over at AllThingsD, or you can just read the darn thing yourself below.

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For those of you who prefer only the very best salaciousness, here are a few choice titillations:

AWKWARD FOREPLAY: "[Ms. Fischer] was worried when you came over and sat directly next to her and put your arm on the back of the love seat. As you did so, your hand brushed across her breast. The first time, Ms. Fischer thought it was a mistake."

DIRECT APPROACH: "You tried to persuade her to spend the night with you. This went on painfully for another hour."

CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS: "You had been telling her about many different women that were crazy about you... including Sheryl Crow."

DESPERATE TIMES: "One of your last dinners was at Craft in Century City where you confessed you felt like you could spend the rest of your life with her. You said you would have to see how the chemistry in bed was but that that would not be a problem because 'you try hard.'"

And so on, for pages and pages—the full letter is below. It's more sad than anything, and a good reminder for your upcoming 2012 resolutions: don't throw away your career, jeopardize your entire company, and leave a permanent stain on your reputation in pursuit of an employee who's clearly not interested. You can do it, I know you can; just try hard. [AllThingsD]

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DISCUSSION

I have no particular need or desire to defend Mark Hurd, who in all likelihood did behave inappropriately with/towards Jodi Fisher. But in fairness to Hurd, it's worth noting the following:

— This is not an original, contemporaneous document from Hurd to Fisher.

— This is not even an original contemporaneous document from Fisher to Hurd, or, for that matter, a sworn statement under oath (e.g., an affidavit) by Fisher regarding Hurd's behavior towards her.

— For that matter, it's not even a legal brief submitted by Fisher's lawyer to a court and therefore subject to judicial review by a judge.

— Instead, it is a letter from Fisher's lawyer (not Fisher) directly to Hurd for the purpose of litigation (and, perhaps more significantly, for the purposes of getting a big cash settlement from HP)...

— and said lawyer is Gloria Allred. ('Nuff said.)

In other words, Fisher would never have to defend anything in the letter under threat of perjury; instead, she could simply say, "Well, my lawyer is a zealous advocate in how she presented what I actually told her."

As someone who acts from time to time as an expert witness in litigation, I am very much aware of the difference between sworn testimony make directly by a fact (or expert) witness and claims and allegations made in letters from lawyers on one side to lawyers and/or parties on the other. ..bruce..