The CEO Who Sold WhatsApp To Facebook For $22 Billion Apologizes For Harassing An Ex 18 Years Ago

Jan Koum — CEO of WhatsApp, the company Facebook bought for $US22 billion in February — is apologizing for harassing an ex-girlfriend who got a restraining order against him in 1996, according to Bloomberg’s David de Jong and Sarah Frier.

Koum’s college ex accused him of verbally and physically threatening her, according to Bloomberg.

The ex said he lingered outside her class and frequently called her house, according to court documents from the civil restraining order, granted by a San Jose, California state court. She also said he used her social security number and “ruined records at the school,” according to the court documents.

“I feel I was irrational and behaved badly after we broke up,” Koum said in a statement to Bloomberg. “I am ashamed of the way I acted, and ashamed that my behaviour forced her to take legal action. I am deeply sorry for what I did.”

Koum also allegedly harassed his ex-girlfriend at work, calling her constantly and showing up numerous times and causing her to hide in the bathroom. Her coworkers walked her to her car at night because she feared for her safety, the ex-girlfriend claimed in court documents.

“Over the years, I have thought a lot about that difficult period of my life,” he said. “I have many regrets and things I wish I could go back and change, but I have also worked hard and tried to improve myself.”

Facebook released a statement saying that Koum’s response “demonstrates the sincerity of his remorse over what happened nearly two decades ago.” Koum is on Facebook’s board of directors.

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