Letter Details Sexual Harassment Claim Against Ex-HP CEO Hurd


Ex-CEO Mark Hurd made a series of sexual advances toward former HP marketing contractor Jodie Fisher over a two-year period, according to a soon-to-be-unsealed letter that Hurd's lawyers have been trying to keep from the scrutiny of the masses.

The letter, which Fisher's attorney Gloria Allred sent to Hurd in June 2010, details several incidents that took place between 2007 and 2009 during dinners, hotel room visits and meetings in Los Angeles, Atlanta, St. Louis and Madrid. Allred notes that Hurd told Fisher in March 2008 that HP was in talks to acquire EDS, and that Hurd warned Fisher not to disclose information to anyone about the $13.9 billion deal, which was announced in May of that year.

"You had designs to make her your lover from the onset using your status and authority as CEO of HP," Allred told Hurd in the letter, which was published Thursday by All Things Digital. "At times you would behave professionally seemingly 'getting' that she was not going to have sex with you. At other times, not, and you would relentlessly attempt to cajole her into having sex with you."

The letter also mentions Fisher's previous appearances on a reality television show. "You had seen Ms. Fisher on the NBC television show "Age Of Love" that she appeared on in May/June of 2007 and were quite taken with her," Allred said to Hurd in the letter. "You hand-picked her to technically hostess various HP events, but more accurately, to be with you and accompany you when you were out of town at numerous HP events."

The Delaware Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Allred's letter doesn't contain trade secrets, non-public financial information, or proprietary information that would require it to remain sealed from public view. Hurd's lawyers have argued that the letter should be considered confidential under California state law.

HP shareholder Ernesto Espinoza, who is suing HP over the circumstances surrounding Hurd's severance package, has also sued to have the contents of the letter made public.

In its ruling, the Delaware Supreme court explained that while the letter from Allred to Hurd was marked "Personal and Confidential", it was addressed to Hurd in his role as HP CEO, to the company's address. The letter also notes that Fisher’s claims were against Hurd and HP, and that the substance of her claims has been "widely reported in virtually every media", according to the Delaware Supreme Court's ruling.

Allred's letter prompted an investigation into Hurd's conduct which turned up no evidence of sexual misconduct, but did find violations of HP's standards of business conduct that caused HP's board to ask for Hurd's resignation in August 2010. Both Hurd, now a co-president at Oracle, and Fisher have claimed that the letter contains inaccuracies.

An HP spokesperson contacted by CRN declined to comment on Allred's letter. Oracle's stance is that Fisher has already called the accuracy of the letter into question.

"This letter was recanted by Ms. Fisher. She admitted it was full of inaccuracies," Oracle spokesperson Ken Glueck told All Things Digital late Thursday.