Riot Games CEO sued by former assistant for alleged sexual harassment and discrimination
The former Riot Games executive assistant Sharon O’Donnell filed a lawsuit alleging that during her three years at the company, Nicolo Laurent sexually harassed her, discriminated against her, and even retaliated against her when she complained to HR about his behaviour.
According to a copy of the complaint which was obtained by VICE Games, O’Donnell alleges that he asked her to “cum over to his house while his wife was away”, discussed his underwear size with her, and told her “that his wife was jealous of beautiful women”.
When she refused Laurent’s alleged advances, she was punished during her time at work, resulting in her eventually being fired. She alleges that she was not paid for all the hours she worked, including overtime, and was not given meal breaks.
Riot Games – best known for Valorant and League of Legends – has said the company is continuing to investigate the claims made against the CEO but, for now, he will continue to work as normal.
“In this case, because some of the claims relate to an executive leader, a special committee of our board of directors is overseeing the investigation, which is being conducted by an outside law firm,” a Riot Games spokesperson told VICE Games in a statement.
“Our CEO 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.”
Rioters4Change, a collective of employees who currently work for Riot Games, and whose mission is to fight for ethical and responsible changes within the company, said it stood with Sharon O’Donnell and hoped she received “appropriate reparations”.
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On the news of the allegations against Riot’s CEO: pic.twitter.com/bHcVeILyfe
— Rioters For Change (@Rioters4Change) February 10, 2021
“Inappropriate relations combined with the threat of power is a harm inherent to any company where leaders are not held accountable,” the group said in a statement.
“Historically, Riot is a company where leaders have not been held accountable.
“We hope that Sharon O’Donnell, and all those who have been harmed by the actions of Riot superiors, are given appropriate reparations for the harm done to them.
“Those in positions of power at Riot would do well to recognise that their positions are only as stable as the workforce underneath them.”