Skip to main content

Former Tinder execs call ex-CEO’s defamation suit a ‘public smear campaign’

Former Tinder execs call ex-CEO’s defamation suit a ‘public smear campaign’

/

And ask to dismiss the case

Share this story

Match.com Celebrates IPO At NASDAQ
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Tinder co-founder Sean Rad and the company’s former VP of communications Rosette Pambakian want the defamation suit filed against them last week to be dismissed. In a motion filed last night, Rad and Pambakian call former Tinder CEO Greg Blatt’s defamation suit “abusive” and a “public smear campaign against a sexual assault accuser under cover of a court proceeding.” Their legal team is seeking the case be dismissed under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, which protects free speech in connection with a public issue.

Blatt sued Pambakian and Rad for defamation after they went public with claims that Blatt sexually harassed Pambakian after a 2016 Tinder holiday party. Pambakian says Blatt groped her breasts and upper thighs and kissed her shoulders, neck, and chest, but Blatt maintains that the interaction was consensual and that their “fully-clothed bodies were in contact” when they allegedly kissed. The sexual assault allegations first surfaced in a separate valuation lawsuit in which Rad and others are seeking $1 billion over claims that parent companies Match Group and IAC purposely undervalued Tinder in an effort to avoid paying millions in stock options.

Pambakian was initially part of that lawsuit, but she had to drop out because she signed an arbitration agreement that was included in her employment contract. She later filed a lawsuit against Match Group over sexual assault and wrongful termination because the company ended her employment at Tinder in December 2018.

Pambakian and Rad’s legal team is now arguing that Blatt’s cited defamation examples, including a piece on The Verge and on CNN, are protected speech and relevant to the valuation lawsuit.

Separately, Blatt is also asking the court to handle his claims against Pambakian in arbitration because of an employment contract she signed with Match Group. In their anti-SLAPP motion, the defendants point out that Blatt filed this lawsuit in court, even though he is now requesting it be made private. The motion says his defamation suit “served his media objectives” and suggests that’s why Blatt is now asking it to be taken out of public proceedings. In addition to having the lawsuit dismissed, Pambakian and Rad also want their attorney fees covered.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


A
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


A
External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.