Tech evangelist Robert Scoble 'rejected' lawyer's advice, denies sexual harassment allegations

  • Tech evangelist Robert Scoble took to his blog Wednesday to refute several reports that he had acted inappropriately toward women in professional environments.
  • Scoble accused the women that spoke out against him of selling a “false narrative.”
  • He claims he couldn’t have sexually harassed the women because he wasn’t their employer and didn’t “cut checks.”

Accused of sexually assaulting two women and behaving inappropriately with other women in the tech community, tech blogger Robert Scoble on Wednesday denied the reports, in part on the grounds that he was not an employer of the women accusing him or an investor in their businesses.

In a blog post on his personal website, Scoble, who rose to prominence as a vocal advocate of cutting edge tech gadgets such as Google Glass, said he had “rejected [his] lawyer’s advice to not make a statement.” He proceeded to dispute numerous news reports — including stories in Business Insider — regarding the alleged sexual misconduct and announcement of his resignation from Transformation Group that followed.

“If I were guilty of all the things said about me I would still not be in a position to have sexually harassed anyone,” Scoble wrote. “I don’t have employees, I don’t cut checks for investment. None of the women who came forward were ever in a position where I could make or break their careers. Sexual harassment requires that I have such power.”

The allegations against Scoble came to light last week after tech journalist Quinn Norton wrote that Scoble grabbed her “butt” and one of her breasts during the Foo Camp hacker conference in 2010. A second woman, Michelle Greer, told BuzzFeed News on Thursday that Scoble touched her leg without her consent at a hotel bar after a tech event in Atlanta, while they were both employees at Rackspace.

In addition to denying that his actions count as sexual harassment, Scoble wrote that “each of the women who have come forward used grains of truth to sell false narrative.”

“Perhaps because they felt peer pressure to join the #MeToo bandwagon, perhaps because they felt slighted for other reasons. I won’t speculate on their motives,” Scoble wrote, referencing the hashtag that went viral this month as women spoke openly about their experiences with harassment and assault on social media following several high-profile stories of sexual misconduct in the news.

On Sunday, Transformation Group co-founder Shel Israel announced in a Facebook post that Scoble had resigned from his role as partner at the startup, which focuses on augmented and virtual reality. Scoble denies that he resigned from Transformation Group, though Israel later told Business Insider that he had “called him, requested his resignation, and he gave it to me.”

In his blog post Wednesday, Scoble also denied some of what Israel wrote, including that Scoble had admitted that the claims against him were “for the most part true.”

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect comments from Scoble and Israel.

Disclosure: Business Insider syndicated articles from Scobleizer, Robert Scoble’s blog, from 2010-2014.

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