- Liam Booth is leaving as head of personal security for Mark Zuckerberg.
- His departure comes after he was accused of serious misconduct, including sexual harassment and racism, by two former staffers.
- A representative for the Facebook CEO’s family office says it has found no evidence of misconduct.
- The person declined to comment on the status of the legal proceedings.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Mark Zuckerberg’s personal security chief is leaving the Facebook CEO’s family office after being accused of sexual misconduct and racism – though a representative for the family office has said it has found no evidence to substantiate the allegations.
As Business Insider first reported in May, Liam Booth – the head of security for the 34-year-old billionaire’s family office, which handles household affairs as well as the philanthropic Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – has been accused by two former employees of serious misconduct.
In an emailed statement on Monday, Ben LaBolt, a representative for the family office, said internal investigations by the office’s human-resources department and its law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson could not substantiate the allegations, but Booth has decided to leave anyway – prompting renewed calls from the accusers’ lawyers for an independent investigation.
Here’s the full statement from LaBolt:
“Over the course of several weeks, both the family office’s HR Department and Munger, Tolles & Olson have conducted separate investigations into the allegations outlined by The Bloom Firm against Liam Booth. These investigations included numerous interviews with Mr. Booth’s colleagues as well as a review of other relevant documents and information. Following these thorough investigations, the serious allegations made against Mr. Booth by the Bloom Firm could not be substantiated.
“Mr. Booth knows that minimising distractions is vital to executing the security duties in this role, so he has decided to move on from the family office to pursue other opportunities. The family office is grateful for his service and wishes Mr. Booth the best in his future endeavours.”
The allegations in question, made by the former employees through their lawyers at The Bloom Firm in legal documents reviewed by Business Insider, included accusations of “pervasive discriminatory conduct,” “horrific levels of sexual harassment and battery,” and of creating an environment in which support staff were repeatedly subjected to homophobic and transphobic diatribes – as well as allegations that Booth made racist remarks about Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg’s wife.
There is no allegation that Zuckerberg was aware of any misconduct.
The two accusers have been demanding compensation for lost wages and damages for emotional distress, and LaBolt declined to comment on the status of the legal proceedings.
In response, The Bloom Firm continued to call for an independent investigation into the allegations. “We continue to urge the family to retain a truly neutral, independent investigator experienced in harassment and discrimination claims to make factual findings and recommendations on these urgent and important claims,” Lisa Bloom, the head of the firm, said in an emailed statement.
“As far as we know, no independent investigation has occurred. Instead, a large defence firm is defending against our clients’ allegations. Attorneys are ethically bound to defend their clients.”
One of the accusers is a former employee of the 34-year-old billionaire’s household staff who was responsible for preparing Zuckerberg’s various homes for the family’s arrival; the other is a former executive assistant to Booth. Both retained the law firm of the California attorney Bloom, whose efforts on the behalf of Bill O’Reilly’s accusers in 2017 helped get the TV host fired from Fox News.
Booth previously worked for the US Secret Service from 2001 to 2017, including a five-year stint working to “supervise the physical protection for the President and the first family of the United States” during the Obama years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He had been placed on leave after the allegations were made.
The legal demand letters also accused Brian Mosteller, the managing director of Zuckerberg’s private office who previously served as a special assistant to President Barack Obama, of failing to take action after the two staffers raised complaints. Mosteller remains in his position, LaBolt said.
One of the demand letters alleges that Booth made racist remarks to the household staffer about Chan’s driving ability, including that “she’s a woman and Asian, and Asians have no peripheral vision,” while pulling his eyelids to the side in a racist caricature.
The other letter accuses Booth of making a series of racist remarks to the security staffer. On more than one occasion, the letter alleges, Booth told the staffer that he “didn’t trust Black people” and that “white lives matter more than Black lives.” The letter also accuses Booth of bragging about deliberately attempting to undermine Chan’s diversity goals in hiring and of complaining about the number of black people who worked at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. When the security staffer objected to that remark, the letter alleges, Booth “angrily advocat[ed] against diversity in the workplace and the movement Black Lives Matters, which he called ‘reverse racism.'”
Business Insider previously reported that a source who had worked around Booth and wished to remain anonymous because the person was not authorised to speak publicly said the person had also heard Booth say “Asians can’t drive” and disparage Chan because of her ethnicity.
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