Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond had an affair with former Google lawyer Jennifer Blakely that resulted in a baby born in 2007, Blakely writes in a post on Medium. The relationship violated Google’s policies which ban relationships between managers and their subordinates. After that, Blakely says Drummond abandoned the relationship, put her through a legal wringer for child support, and engaged in treatment that Blakely describes as “nothing short of abuse.”
In a statement to BuzzFeed News today, Drummond doesn’t deny most of Blakely’s claims. Except for one specific accusation, he simply says that “I take a very different view about what happened” and that he “won’t be getting into a public back and forth about these personal matters.”
Blakely says “blatant womanizing and philandering” was commonplace among some Google executives
When the affair began, Drummond was married, Blakely says. He was also “well aware that our relationship was in violation of Google’s new policy which went from ‘discouraging’ direct-reporting-line relationships to outright banning them,” Blakely writes. After their son was born, Google’s human resources department told Drummond and Blakely that one of them would have to leave the legal department. Blakely transferred to sales, even though she had no sales experience. She eventually quit Google, after Drummond “offered to help us out financially on a monthly basis,” she writes.
Blakely first described her affair with Drummond in a 2018 New York Times article, which focused on a gigantic payout from Google to Andy Rubin, the “father of Android,” who stood accused of sexual misconduct by another employee. In her new Medium post, Blakely says “blatant womanizing and philandering” was commonplace among some Google executives, an allegation which has been reported about Google higher-ups like Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, and Andy Rubin in various ways for years.
Blakely says her relationship with Drummond ended after she left a dinner with Google employees to care for her sick son. She writes that she repeatedly called Drummond, then texted him to ask when he would come home. According to Blakely, he responded, “Don’t expect me back. I’m never coming back.” Google’s associate general counsel, Chris Chin, told Blakely that Drummond had gone to San Francisco with two other women who worked in Google’s legal department that night, she writes in the Medium post.
After that, Blakely writes, Drummond began an affair with one of those women, and another with a personal assistant. But the idea that interoffice affairs were acceptable behavior at Google came from the top, Blakely says:
Once in the summer of 2014, David came over to visit our son and we got into an argument about his one-way terms for seeing him at my house at his convenience, especially when he had his own house(s) blocks away. He sat down at our kitchen table and, using my laptop, he pulled up a year-old article from the Daily Mail about Eric Schmidt’s philandering lifestyle. He then passed the computer over to me to read. I was so perplexed! I was well aware of Eric’s lifestyle, David was even more aware, but none of it was news, we’d talked about it for years. David explained to me how Eric’s “personal life” was, in essence, his privilege. The article was apparently a reminder to me of how things worked: David was (and is) a powerful executive. His “personal life” (which apparently didn’t include his son) was off limits and since I was no longer his “personal life” it was time for me to shut up, fall in line and stop bothering him with the nuisances or demands of raising a child.
“Other than Jennifer, I never started a relationship with anyone else who was working at Google or Alphabet,” Drummond says, according to BuzzFeed. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply untrue.”
According to Blakely, Drummond refused to pay child support at times and also went long stretches without seeing his child. “Her account raises many claims about us and other people, including our son and my former wife,” Drummond said, according to Buzzfeed.
Blakely’s story about Drummond and Google’s culture is not out of character for the company. In October 2018, Google said that 48 people had been fired for sexual harassment in the previous two years. Google’s employees have protested the handling of sexual harassment at the company, even walking out on November 1st, 2018. Since then, one of the employees who organized the walkout quit Google, claiming that the company had retaliated against her.
Google declined to answer questions about the allegations, including whether Drummond violated company policy. Blakely has not responded to requests for comment.