Blog Lords

Former Friends of Michael Arrington Begin to Break the Silence on Alleged Abuse [UPDATE]

"One of the biggest tech luminaries is accused of something like this and no one will even talk about it."
Arrington. (Photo via Flickr.)

Arrington. (Photo via Flickr.)

Update, 4/8/13: Michael Arrington has responded with a denial of all allegations, and his ex, Meghan Asha, has issued her own denial of the allegations  “made on [her] behalf.” More here

On Monday, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington’s ex-girlfriend publicly accused him of physical abuse and followed up with accusations of rape. As yet, there’s absolutely no proof of Ms. Allen’s dark allegations. But today, two men Mr. Arrington once called friends have publicly denounced him.

This is getting very, very ugly–not that it was a pretty business to begin with.

The first long testimonial comes from Jason Calacanis who, admittedly, has been bitching publicly about Michael Arrington for years, ever since their friendship disintegrated over the TechCrunch 50 conference. (They’re basically the Kenya Moore and Phaedra Parks of Silicon Valley.)

On his Facebook page today, he threw his weight behind Ms. Allen’s accusations (without once naming Mr. Arrington specifically, thought it’s very clear who he’s talking about):

Then story after horrific story of unimaginable behavior were told to me in private and I said nothing. Just stayed focused on my work.

Now all those stories are coming out publicly and there is no victory for anyone involved. Seeing the bully finally meet his demise is just sad. I wish I could have gotten through to the person who was, for a time, one of my favorite people.

Nor is Mr. Calacanis the only ex-friend publicly denouncing Mr. Arrington. Gawker reports that another onetime pal, blogger Loren Feldman (a polarizing figure in his own right), has come out against the man with a YouTube video, in which he announces:  “Let me tell you this: I think he did it.”

He calls the allegations “the worst kept rumor in the Valley for years.” He claims he cut Arrington out of his life specifically because of the rumors, and tries to shame the tech world for keeping the matter quiet when we’re supposed to be living in an age of radical transparency. “One of the biggest tech luminaries is accused of something like this and no one will even talk about it.”

He’s right. Mr. Feldman and Mr. Calancis are both controversy-courting figures in the tech industry, in addition to being former friends. Despite “liking” Mr. Calacanis’ Facebook post, most insiders haven’t said a word, at least not in public. In the comment thread on Facebook, Robert Scoble brings up the issues of defamation, although Mr. Arrington’s stature and legendary reputation as a bully obviously play a part.

“That said,” Mr. Scoble adds, “believe me, EVERYONE is talking about these charges behind private doors in Silicon Valley. I’m sure the charges are being looked into.”

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com