Ousted Tinder Cofounder Sues For Sexual Harassment, Says She Was Called 'Slutty' And A 'Liar' By Her Ex

Tinder whitney wolfeGetty Images/Michael BucknerWhitney Wolfe is suing Tinder for sexual harassment. She says she co-founded the dating app when she was 24.

Whitney Wolfe and Justin Mateen co-founded dating app Tinder. They dated on and off for a year. Then they broke up.

When the break up turned ugly, Wolfe says she was called things such as a “slut” and a “liar.” Now she’s suing Tinder for sexual harassment.

In 2012, dating application Tinder was born in a Los Angeles IAC startup incubator, Hatch Labs. It was a pivot from a customer loyalty startup, Cardify, that failed to gain traction.

One of the Cardify team members, 24-year-old Whitney Wolfe, took the idea for Tinder under her wing. She says she came up with the name of the app and initially promoted it on college campuses. She was given a co-founder title.

Then, her direct manager and fellow co-founder, Justin Mateen, allegedly took a liking to her. The pair dated in February 2013 and dated on and off for the remainder of the year. Wolfe says her relationship with Mateen ended for good when he became “verbally controlling and abusive.” The way he acted after their break up allegedly forced her to resign from the company.

Now, Wolfe alleges she was sexually harassed by Mateen and CEO Sean Rad during the majority of her employment at Tinder. She claims they revoked her co-founder status because five founders was “too many” and because she’s a woman. Further, Mateen allegedly told Wolfe it was “slutty” to be the co-founder of a “hook up” app like Tinder.

Mateen allegedly told Wolfe it was “slutty” to be the co-founder of a “hook up” app like Tinder.

“Mr. Mateen tried to justify the situation by saying ‘Facebook and Snapchat doesn’t have girl founders, it just makes it look like Tinder was some accident,'” the lawsuit states.

At the end of 2013, when Wolfe and Mateen ended their relationship for good, Wolfe says the sexual harassment got much worse. Mateen allegedly sent scathing, jealous texts. When Wolfe complained to Rad and Match.com CEO Sam Yagan, she says they didn’t care. Eventually she says she was forced to resign.

Texts in the lawsuit paint a nasty, jealous breakup between Wolfe and Mateen that would be difficult to stomach outside of the work place, and absolutely inappropriate between co-workers.

Here’s what transpired, as told through Wolfe’s texts…

(Tinder has not responded for comment)

Here's the start of the controlling-sounding texts, sent from Justin Mateen to Whitney Wolfe.

'I will shit on him in life,' a jealous Mateen allegedly texted Wolfe about a new guy in her life.

More insults from Mateen allegedly followed.

Mateen went on to mock Wolfe and said he had 'horrible judgement' for dating her.

He allegedly made racist comments about guys she was involved with after their breakup.

And allegedly accused her of being a social climber with 'Muslim pigs.'

The jealous rant continued...

And when things continued to be bad, Wolfe started making legal threats.

Mateen allegedly threatened her not to sue, or else he'd 'bark back like a psycho.'

Wolfe was called a liar.

And a coward during work hours.

Wolfe allegedly told Mateen she was feeling harassed by him.

And pointed out that he was (allegedly) threatening her.

Mateen didn't agree.

Wolfe told Mateen that her personal life wasn't his business anymore, because they broke up.

Insecure break-up texts continued.

Mateen continued to allegedly badger his ex about a guy from a trip to Aspen.

The controlling-sounding texts continued.

More drama and jealousy.

Again Wolfe wrote that she was feeling harassed.

So she escalated the situation to CEO Sean Rad.

Sean, seeming to sense a potential lawsuit, didn't want to talk via text.

Wolfe's stock hadn't vested yet. Rad informed her that if she quit, she wouldn't get the unvested stock (which is typical at a startup).

Rad encouraged Wolfe to email him her resignation.

'Your employment continuing is likely not an option at this point,' Rad allegedly told Wolfe.

Wolfe was not pleased. Now she's filed a lawsuit.

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