New Activision Lawsuit Raises Revenge Porn, Harassment Claims

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A government investigation into the company began more than a year after the initial reportsPublisher Activision Blizzard is facing new lawsuits in what in this latest case is described as “a pervasive ‘fraternity boy’ workplace culture that is a breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women.”

Content Warning: Harassment.

The latest lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles by an unnamed former employee of the company, targets both Activision Blizzard itself and the employee’s former manager, Miguel Vega. The complaint claims:

Activision Blizzard’s failure to curb sexist and harassing behavior encouraged manager Miguel Vega to abuse, belittle, and insult Ms. Doe, making comments to her about oral sex, masturbation, and orgasms, threatening her job if she didn’t have sex agreed, mocking her breasts, and commenting on the attractiveness of other female employees. Mr Vega also repeatedly threatened to release a compromising photograph of Ms Doe.

The lawsuit states that the unnamed former employee, identified here as Ms. Jane Doe, “first met Mr. Vega in 2009 or 2010 (before she started working at Activision Blizzard) when she was at a game night with members from Activision Blizzard, including Mr Vega.” Ms Doe says the pair “soon formed a virtual friendship and she regrettably sent him compromising photos of herself.”

Ms. Doe says their friendship ended in 2011 when she met her future husband, but that Vega helped her get “independent contractor work at Activision Blizzard” in 2016, which later turned into a full-time position at the company as a community engagement coordinator for the Player Support Department.

About her time in the company from 2016 to 2021, the suit says:

At work, Mr. Vega repeatedly fondled Doe’s breasts about a dozen times. At every opportunity he squeezed, grabbed, or prodded her breasts and she immediately shied away from these unwanted advances. He often tried to kiss her at work. All of Mr. Vegas’ sexual advances toward Ms. Doe were unwelcome. Every time she rejected him, he would assure her “one day it will happen” or “one day you will give in”.

It is also claimed that during the meetings “Ms. Abused, belittled and insulted Doe, telling her her ideas were terrible and that she would “fail a job a monkey could do”. He supposedly said so too she is a “nobody” whose “opinions don’t matter” and who “knows nothing”.

The lawsuit then lists specific examples of sexual harassment allegations against Vega, including:

At an Activision Blizzard office party in 2017, Mr. Vega led Ms. Doe to a vacant part of the office, away from the party, and he asked her if she would give him oral sex if he “whipped it right here.”

When Ms. Mustermann repeatedly expressed to Mr. Vega that she felt underpaid, Mr. Vega often responded with a counteroffer, “Well, you know what you have to do,” while pointing at his crotch.

Mr. Vega told Ms. Doe that he “is a very sexual person” and therefore he “needs to jerk off at least twice a day”.

Mr. Vega asked Ms. Doe how often she masturbated.

Mr. Vega asked Ms. Doe how many times her husband made her orgasm during sex and if she felt her husband satisfied her sexual needs (“How often does he make you cum?” and “Does he take care of you in the bedroom you ?”)

Ms. Doe’s complaints also accuse Vega of threatening her career if she ever reported him to human resources (which she first did in 2017, saying, “Activision Blizzard didn’t do anything”), and did so by August 2021 — weeks after the company culture made international headlines – he constantly threatened to release publicly the “compromising photos” he had of her.

The lawsuit states that Vega was eventually reported directly to Ms. Doe’s manager in August 2021 and that “Shortly thereafter, Mr. Vega left a voicemail for Ms. Doe to mitigate the damage he caused her.” Vega was subsequently terminated from his position on September 1, 2021.

Ms. Doe’s complaint calls for a full jury trial against both defendants and ultimately seeks damages, attorneys’ fees, lost earnings and medical expenses. Both Activision Blizzard and Mr. Vega have been contacted for comment.

https://kotaku.com/activision-blizzard-lawsuit-sexual-harassment-1849650622 New Activision Lawsuit Raises Revenge Porn, Harassment Claims

Curtis Crabtree

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