Riot Games investigation says there is ‘no evidence’ that CEO sexually harassed female employee
San Francisco - Riot Games, the developer behind the smash-hit video games like 'League of Legends' and 'Valorant,' has given a clean chit to its CEO Nicolas Laurent in a sexual harassment and discrimination case filed by a female employee.
According to The Washington Post, the third-party investigation commissioned by Riot Games has found no evidence of wrongdoing and recommended Laurent receive no sanctions from the company.
"It's important you hear this from me directly: The allegations of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation involving me are not true," Laurent wrote in an internal email obtained by the Post.
"Nothing of that nature, or even remotely close to it, ever happened," he added.
In January, Sharon O'Donnell, a former executive assistant at Riot Games, filed a lawsuit, alleging that Laurent "had created a hostile work environment and conditioned O'Donnell's employment on her reciprocation of unwanted sexual advances".
She also alleged that she was fired after refusing sexual advances from the CEO.
Riot then opened a third-party investigation by a special committee into the case.
"Most cases of this nature are not black and white; they fall into the grey. However, this was not one of those cases. In this case, we were simply unable to find any evidence that would justify a sanction of any kind against Laurent," the committee said.
The claims against Laurent are not new as according to reports, several employees have shared similar stories about "pervasive discrimination and harassment" at the company.
Riot Games had to apologise and promise changes in 2018, including suspension of the company's COO Scott Gelb for two months without pay following reports of inappropriate workplace conduct and a pending lawsuit against the company.
The reports said earlier this week that Alienware, a gaming hardware company, had withdrawn from a partnership with Riot Games, citing problems with its public image.