We normally don’t cover criminal accusations against individuals without police reports or other documents filed, or significant evidence like self-acknowledgement. But we’re making an exception.
TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington is facing very public accusations involving physical threats, assault and rape. Given his relationship with us this past year, and the culture of transparency that he helped create, we’re sharing where we are at with our reporting on the story.
We take all of these allegations seriously. We are treating them like any other story of this magnitude, in that we have been working to understand the situation as thoroughly as we can before publishing about it. We have a little more to add at this point, while we are continuing to report the story.
The original claim, posted on Facebook by former girlfriend Jenn Allen, is that he physically abused her, then threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the episode. Gawker found her post, and she followed up with additional comments there claiming that he had raped her as well as another woman.
Rumors of similar alleged abuse have circulated in previous years amongst our peers. Many tech reporters have investigated them, but no stories had been published until those based on Allen’s posts this week.
Some former friends of Arrington’s, including Jason Calacanis and Loren Feldman have come forward this week to support her general claim, saying they have heard similar rumors. Another Arrington friend from that era, Nik Cubrilovic, is now saying that he lived in the same house as Arrington when Allen was also staying there and knew of no abuse.
Today, Gawker unveiled another story detailing an alleged assault by Arrington that took place at a company he worked at in 1999, RealNames. A colleague of Arrington’s, Cecile Sharp, is quoted in the article saying that he had assaulted another coworker. The article also quotes sources alleging that in 2009 he threw then-girlfriend, Meghan Asha, against a wall.
Neither Allen nor Arrington have provided us with comments at this time.
Regarding Allen’s claims, we are not yet able to determine if they are true or not. She has not filed any police complaint or lawsuit to our knowledge.
Regarding the RealNames allegation, we have confirmed that there was an accusation, the conclusion of which did not result in a punishment for Arrington. We are still trying to understand the details of that from other people who were at the company at the time. So far we have this from RealNames founder and long-time Arrington friend Keith Teare:
“Mike was indeed the subject of an accusation at RealNames. As is normal in these circumstances an outside party was hired to conduct an investigation. This was extensive and I was never directly involved in it as I was not a witness to any events. The investigation concluded that there was no behavior to answer for. Mike was never reprimanded in any way. Both parties asked for confidentiality and to date this has been honored.”
Regarding the claim that Meghan Asha was thrown against a wall by Arrington in 2009, we have spoken to a number of secondary sources, some of whom claim that it happened and some who say it did not. Asha has not spoken publicly on the matter. [Update: she has replied here, saying that “None of the claims made on my behalf over the past week are accurate,” although she doesn’t say much more.]
We have also spoken to two other women who Arrington had previously dated. One is Rebecca Woodcock, who some rumors had indicated had suffered abuse from him while dating. She tells us this is absolutely not true. The other woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, also said that there was no abuse.
In sum, there have been some claims and more rumors about Arrington, as well as counterclaims and most of all, lots of missing information. We are continuing our reporting to find definitive evidence. We hope that anyone who knows more facts as to what happened between him and the women he is accused of abusing will come forward publicly, or privately.