XX in Tech

New Allegations Emerge Against Michael Arrington, Including a Reported Outside Investigation for Physical Assault [UPDATED]

Still, silence reigns in Silicon Valley.
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

Even as most of Silicon Valley stays silent, allegations are still emerging against TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. Now Gawker says they’ve uncovered two additional stories of Mr. Arrington behaving abusively toward women.

The first incident occurred way back in 1999, when Mr. Arrington was working at a startup called RealNames. Cecile Sharp, who was the company’s HR rep at the time, says that Mr. Arrington was investigated for an alleged assault on a woman who worked as a sales rep for the company.

Gawker reports:

The accusation stemmed from a conference that Arrington and the coworker, along with a number of other RealNames employees, attended in the fall of 1999, Sharp said. According to Sharp and another source familiar with the allegations, the coworker claimed that one night during an altercation in a hotel room, Arrington violently threw her onto a bed and held her down so hard that she ended up with fingerprint bruises on her arms.

An outside firm hired to investigate reached “an uncertain conclusion,” and Mr. Arrington was simply reprimanded. His alleged victim (who’d dated Mr. Arrington, though they were apart during the reported incident) refused to comment on the record, and the former CEO of the company hasn’t responded, either.

Gawker also writes of another incident in 2009, on the night the TechCrunch50 conference wrapped up. Two unidentified sources tell the blog that several people–including Jason Calacanis and Loren Feldman, who’ve already condemned Mr. Arrington, as well as former TechCrunch writer Paul Carr–were celebrating. That is, until the good times abruptly ended:

 The group was having fun “drunk-dialing” various friends and tech personalities, when one woman Calacanis called brought the festivities to a halt: According to two sources familiar with the call, the woman, a good friend of Asha’s, told Calacanis that Arrington had attacked [his girlfriend at the time, Meghan] Asha that night, throwing her against the wall in a hotel room.

Mr. Calacanis confirmed that the call had happened, but told Gawker he didn’t “feel comfortable” discussing it. Mr. Carr remembered the call, but not the content: “I have zero recollection of a conversation involving allegations of abuse,” he told Gawker.

Of course, the phone call is hearsay, and Ms. Asha herself won’t talk. She declined to comment to Gawker, though an anonymous friend told the site, “I’ve heard it straight from Meghan that Arrington abused her, and she did mention the wall-shoving incident.”

Meanwhile, a few more people are speaking up about the rumors, while still tip-toeing very carefully around the question of whether they’re true. Here’s Vivek Wadhwa who, like Mr. Calacanis, has tangled with Mr. Arrington before:

Inquisitr spoke to former TechCrunch writer Duncan Riley, who depicted TechCrunch’s work environment during his tenure as hostile. “He felt entitled to treat people basically like shit,” he said of Mr. Arrington, adding, “I treat my dog better than Michael treated his staff.” This isn’t the first time Mr. Riley spoken disapprovingly of Mr. Arrington.

In fact, basically everyone who’s spoken up has a contentious history with Mr. Arrington. Folks might be discussing this behind closed doors, but most remain tight-lipped in public. The number of times the developing allegations have shown up on Techmeme? Still zero.

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