Riot's CEO Is Being Sued For Sexual Harassment

Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent
Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent
Photo: Riot Games

Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent is being sued by former employee Sharon O’Donnell, who is alleging Laurent committed repeated acts of sexual harassment over a number of years, including asking her to “cum” to his house while his wife was away.

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O’Donnell, who was Laurent’s executive assistant, alleges that the CEO, “began a pattern of harassing Plaintiff based on her sex or gender,” that lasted throughout her tenure at the company—which ended in 2020 when she was dismissed, a decision Riot says was, “based on multiple well-documented complaints from a variety of people.”

As Vice reports, other complaints include Laurent, “telling female employees to handle Covid stress by having children,” and that after she had rejected his advances claiming she had work duties taken away.

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Riot, meanwhile, says Laurent, “has pledged his full cooperation and support during this process, and we’re committed to ensuring that all claims are thoroughly explored and appropriately resolved.”

The company, responsible for games like League of Legends and Valorant, was found in 2018 to have been harbouring a toxic “bro” culture that has resulted in numerous lawsuits being filed, including a 2019 decision to pay $10 million to current and former female employees (UPDATE: to be clear, that’s a case that is still ongoing).

Last year a Riot executive resigned following comments made about the murder of George Floyd, which he believed was caused by the victim’s “criminal lifestyle”.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

DISCUSSION

obtuseangle
ObtuseAngle

This is obviously newsworthy, but this may be the least surprising news story that I’ve ever seen.

Not a complaint against the article, just an expression of how burnt out and cynical I am at this point.