Another sexual harassment lawsuit has been filed against Activision Blizzard.
This latest complaint, filed in Los Angeles by a former employee of the company referred to as Jane Doe, targets both the Call of Duty maker itself and the employees former manager, Miguel Vega.
Doe is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages against the company and her ex-manager. In addition to this, Doe has demanded the removal of Bobby Kotick as CEO, as part of the lawsuit.
The lawsuit states that Doe first met Vega in either 2009 or 2010 at a game night. Following this initial meeting, they struck up an “online friendship,” during which Doe sent Vega “compromising pictures” (something she has said she now regrets). This friendship reportedly ended in 2011 when Doe met her future husband (via Daily Mail).
However, despite the relationship ending, the filing goes on to say that Vega would repeatedly make inappropriate advances towards Doe at work, which included groping, attempting to kiss her and making comments to her about oral sex, masturbation and orgasms.
In addition to this, Vega would allegedly find ways to diminish Does work, and even threatened to use the aforementioned compromising pictures as a form of blackmail to make her leave her husband.
The filing reads: “All of Mr Vegas sexual advances upon Ms Doe were unwelcomed. After each time she rejected him, hed assure her that, One day itll happen or One day youll give in.”
When discussing the pictures Doe sent Vega during their online friendship, the filing reports Vega told Doe: “Maybe Ill blackmail you with those pictures I have, to get you to leave your husband so you can come stay with me.”
It is claimed Vega “never missed an opportunity to make [Doe] feel small”, with the former manager reportedly telling her that she was failing at “a job a monkey could do”.
Vega was fired from his position at Activision Blizzard in 2021, after Doe reported details of Vegas actions to management. However, the filing claims the company took too long to act, and Doe has suffered both physical and mental pain, humiliation and loss of enjoyment of life due to Vegas actions and Activision Blizzards slow response.
“We take all employee concerns seriously,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson told Daily Mail. “When the plaintiff reported her concerns to HR, we immediately opened an investigation, and Mr Vega was terminated within 10 days. We have no tolerance for this kind of misconduct.”
This filing is one of many controversies facing Activision Blizzard, which itself has been accused of harbouring a “frat boy” culture in its workplace.
Last November, CEO Bobby Kotick became the focus of a damning report alleging he was aware of sexual misconduct within the company “for years”.
More recently, the parents of a former Activision Blizzard employee who committed suicide during a company retreat in 2017 launched a lawsuit suing the publisher for wrongful death, alleging the suicide was the result of sexual harassment by work colleagues.