Silicon Valley CEO called employees n****rs & hit 3 women, lawsuit claims

Silicon Valley CEO called employees n****rs & hit 3 women, lawsuit claims

A Silicon Valley CEO has been accused of using racial slurs in the office, violently attacking women and firing an employee who allegedly tried to prevent him from hitting a female – a number of lawsuits claim.

The Daily Beast published a comprehensive report detailing several open lawsuits accusing Gurbaksh Chahal of hiring women based on their looks, misleading investors and making a death threat against an employee.

The Indian-American internet entrepreneur, Chahal founded two internet advertising companies ClickAgents and BlueLithium, the latter of which was sold to Yahoo for $300million in 2007. He also founded RadiumOne and Gravity4, also internet ad companies and, recently, launched a new a bitcoin-like cryptocurrency earlier this month with the endorsement of Paris Hilton.

The Board of RadiumOne, however, fired Chahal following a domestic violence incident. In 2013, the tech mogul was filmed in his San Francisco penthouse hitting and kicking his girlfriend 117 times. After he managed to get the 47 felony counts against him dropped, he remained in charge of the company. However, soon after, Chahal published a series of online blog posts declaring his innocence and accusing his victim of having sex with other people for money.

In July 2014, Chahal launched his current advertising company, Gravity4, and just two months later allegations arose that he beat a different girlfriend in the same penthouse. The woman, a South Korean citizen, did not testify against Chahal, but claimed in court papers that he had threatened to report her for immigration fraud. He was charged with probation violation and sentenced to a year in prison, which was postponed pending an appeal.

As a result, Chahal briefly stepped down as Gravity4 CEO, letting his sister Kamal Kaur hold the reigns before returning, a decision which he allegedly described to the Board as a way to protect the company’s image, by using a “puppet female CEO”.

According to the suit, filed by former Gravity4 Chief of Staff, Ali Al-Ansari, claims Chahal said he did not believe in ‘woman rights’ or ‘equal pay.’ His lawsuit also alleges that he was fired for trying to prevent Chahal from hitting a third woman in an apartment in Miami, Florida.

Other lawsuits by former Gravity4 employees accuse Chahal of misogynistic, violent and racist behaviour, with a transcript included in Al-Ansari’s suit finding that he frequently called black people n****rs. He also allegedly called employees of Arab descent terrorists or ‘ISIS’ – despite founding the Chahal Foundation to prevent hate crimes. He also allegedly threatened former employee, Yousef Khraibut with a death threat.

Aside from his abusive nature, Chahal also allegedly misled investors. Al-Ansari’s suit claims that he was “making false representations to potential investors and shareholders regarding Gravity4’s profits, and talked about non-existent $1billion+ takeover bids that never occurred”.

Two former employees and a third person familiar with Gravity4 told The Daily Beast that almost no one works there today. The Glassdoor reviews describe the company as “schizophrenic” and a “company founded, funded and ran by a con-man”.

Neither Chahal nor his companies nor the lawyer representing him in two civil cases returned The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.

Silicon Valley has been the subject of media scrutiny as of recent, with several lawsuits accusing tech giants of harbouring a culture that is sexist, racist and run by brilliant jerks. Last week, a class action-lawsuit alleged that Google ‘segregated’ women into lower-paying jobs, despite undertaking ‘substantially similar work’ to male employees.  

Image credit: Flickr User TechCrunch

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