Paris Hilton-Backed Metaverse Company Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuits
Former Oakland Raiders NFL player Teyo Johnson previously worked at Everyrealm as a strategic partnerships director and alleged that Everyrealm CEO Janine Yorio committed verbal sexual harassment and racial discrimination against him.
Johnson’s lawsuit alleged that Yorio made comments “implying that Ms. Yorio owned Mr. Johnson” and allegedly made derogatory comments against Black employees, including Johnson, among other complaints.
Everyrealm, which is backed by big name celebrities such as Will Smith, The Weeknd, and Paris Hilton, denied the claims and previously told Decrypt that the allegations “are without merit.”
Johnson has now settled the suit with Everyrealm and has publicly apologized, according to the company. Everyrealm will pay Johnson $51,456 instead of the $1.9 million Johnson sought in his lawsuit.
Everyrealm’s board of directors issued a statement shared with Decrypt that backs the firm’s CEO in response to the lawsuit’s resolution.
“Our confidence in Janine Yorio as an ethical and effective CEO has never wavered. The individual behind these claims now openly ‘regrets’ remarks made in ‘the heat of litigation,’ a public acknowledgment that the allegations do not reflect Janine’s character or Everyrealm’s culture,” the board stated.
“For the past year, we have staunchly defended our position in court and are pleased to have resolved this issue favorably. We look forward to continuing to build a company that creates innovative solutions for avid social gamers, and our conviction in the business and Ms. Yorio’s leadership is as strong as ever,” Everyrealm’s board added.
Johnson wasn’t the only former Everyrealm employee who filed a lawsuit against the company and its CEO last year. Former HR Director Katherine Yost alleged that she was discriminated against because of her disclosed disabilities, bisexual identity, and claimed that an employee with autism had been called “the team mascot.” Former Everyrealm product manager Gatsby Frimpong also filed a suit against the firm, alleging sexual harassment.
Both Johnson and Yost had also claimed that they were being paid less than their white, male counterparts at Everyrealm.
Yost’s lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed, according to court documents. The New York Post reported that Yost has been paid $38,847.79 and Frimpong has been paid $37,616.37 to resolve their suits. In total, the sum of payments made as a result of the three lawsuits amounts to $127,920.16.
Seppinni LLP, the firm that filed the three lawsuits, did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.