Fallout Writer’s prosecutors settle seven-figure defamation case
Two of the women who accused game designer Chris Avellone sexual misconduct in 2020 are now saying they were misinterpreted and have retracted their statements to the press after settling a defamation lawsuit brought by them Obsidian co-founder. “We believe he deserves a full return to the industry and support him in that effort,” Karissa Barrows and Kelly Rae Bristol wrote in a joint statement.
Avellone shared the statement and details of the settlement in a Medium post on March 25. “The parties have settled the matter and the claims have been unconditionally dismissed pursuant to a confidential settlement,” it said. “This settlement includes the return of attorneys’ fees previously agreed against Avellone in California, as well as a “seven-figure payment” to him from Barrows and Bristol, Avellone said kotaku in an email.
Barrows tells kotaku She could not comment on the settlement other than what was included in the Medium post. Bristol could not be immediately reached for comment.
A writer and designer for critically acclaimed RPGs like Planescape: Agony, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic IIAnd Fallout: New VegasAvellone was one of a number of figures in the gaming industry charged with sexual misconduct in June 2020. Bristol wrote on social media at the time that Avellone groped her at a fair while Barrows was talking kotaku in an interview where the veteran game developer tried to get her drunk have sex with her “He attacked me 100 percent, but I stopped him,” she said at the time.
At the time, Avellone apologized to Barrows and others on Twitter, but did not respond to requests for comment. He was subsequently dropped as a consultant by games like dying light 2. A year later, however, Avellone publicly denied the allegations in a June 2021 Medium post and went on file a defamation lawsuit in California especially against Barrows and Bristol.
This case was finally released on an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) motion in 2022 after review by an appeals court, and Avellone was ordered to pay attorneys’ fees. A separate defamation lawsuit was filed in Illinois in September 2022 and both sides were preparing for a discovery process before reaching an agreement.
As part of that settlement, Barrows and Bristol now say Avellone “never sexually abused either of us”. Your testimony continues:
We do not know that he has ever sexually abused women. We are not aware that Mr. Avellone has ever misappropriated company funds. Anything we have said or written about Mr. Avellone before was not our intention. We wanted to support women in the industry. In doing so, our words were misinterpreted to suggest specific allegations of wrongdoing that were neither stated nor intended. We are passionate about the safety and empowerment of women, minorities, LGBTQIA+ people and every other community that has been persecuted in the video game industry. We believe Mr. Avellone shares a desire to protect and strengthen these communities. We believe he deserves a full return to the industry and support him in that effort.
On Monday, March 27, Barrows sent an email kotaku and other press outlets sent a copy of the joint statement asking that “my previous comments on Christopher Avellone be retracted.”
In a separate statement, Avellone wrote in his latest Medium post that people respect the privacy of Barrows and Bristol and “take this opportunity to listen to all voices to improve our culture and communities.”
“I appreciate the willingness of Ms. Barrows and Ms. Bristol to work with us to address issues within the gaming community and their commitment is to be commended and supported,” Avellone wrote. “There are still many very real challenges we face, but I am confident that together we can overcome them.”
https://kotaku.com/fallout-new-vegas-avellone-sexual-misconduct-libel-1850270184 Fallout Writer’s prosecutors settle seven-figure defamation case