Former TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde: I Don't Believe The Allegations Of Abuse Against Arrington

Last week, one of TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington’s former girlfriends posted a nearly incohorent status update to Facebook, seeming to accuse him of rape and physical abuse.

Earlier today Arrington addressed the allegations, saying they are completely untrue and that he has contacted the police.

Now former TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde has commented on the allegations:

As to recent allegations that have been leveled at my former business partner, Michael Arrington:

Michael recruited me to be his CEO. TechCrunch was a calling for him, not just a business venture. That he trusted me to grow it from his bedroom-based hobby to a leading media outlet speaks most authentically of his regard for women. In the five years that I worked with Michael, I can say he treated me as tough and true a business partner as one would hope to example for the field of gender studies. If anything, on more than one occasion I secretly wished that Michael trusted me less completely with tough calls for the business!

We operated TechCrunch out of Michael’s house for the first two years, so to say that I’ve seen the inner workings of Michael Arrington’s personal life is a gross understatement. As any startup, we worked long hours, and I overlapped significant blocks of time with Michael’s roommates, friends and girlfriends. I would have detected patterns of abusive physical behaviour if they had been present.

During my five years at TechCrunch, there were no complaints or cases of sexual harassment or misconduct against Michael Arrington. If there had been any rumours of misconduct from staff or other third parties, I would have taken the matters seriously and investigated them. Many people, including Michael’s friends and girlfriends, sought me out as a confidante for disagreements or challenges they faced with Michael, so I would have been aware of rumoured bad behaviour.

I simply do not believe any of the allegations to be true. 

“Former Friends” Jason Calacanis and Loren Feldman have been estranged from Michael Arrington longer than they ever were friends, and they are not reliable character witnesses on this matter. Jason should limit his bluffing to poker. Usurping a woman’s emotional breakdown for purposes of pursuing a personal agenda to disparage a former business partner is wrong. 

I write in full support of Michael Arrington. He has done much to advance women in tech leadership, and I hope others who have similar feelings will share their direct experiences with the community. It’s important we set the record straight.

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