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Former Tinder is suing the former CEO and IAC for sexual abuse claims




Tinder logo seen on a smartphone.

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A former Tinder CEO is suing the company's former CEO, Gregory Blatt, Match dating service (which owns Tinder), and Match parent company IAC / InterActiveCorp over allegations of sexual abuse.

Rosette Pambakian, who previously served as vice president of marketing and communications at Tinder, claims in the complaint that she was fired for claiming Blatt sexually assaulted her, as well as for having participated in a separate lawsuit against the IAC, where a group of the Tinder co-founders accused it of underestimating Tinder for avoiding paying them for billions of dollars. Blatt, who also served as IAC chairman, left the company in 201[ads1]7.

In the complaint filed Tuesday, Pambakian alleges Blatt approached her at a corporate party in December 2016 and made sexual comments to her, so well like saying "Let's get out of here." It also claims that Blatt went into an employee's hotel room and "immediately went straight for [Pambakian]" who was sitting on a bed.

Blatt allegedly pulled Pambakian back so that she was lying next to him, "forcibly beginning to grope [Pambakian’s] breasts and upper thighs, and kissed his shoulders, neck and chest – all without [Pambakian’s] consent," according to the complaint. After she got out of the situation, Blatt allegedly tried to groom her again.

The complaint states that Pambakian had met with Tinder's staff department and attorney about the incident, but that they were trying to "cover and hide the misconduct of [Blatt]." It is also alleged that Blatt, Match and IAC asked Pambakian to sign a non-disclosure agreement on the incident "in exchange for increased compensation," which she refused to sign.

Pambakian was originally placed on administrative leave and then fired in August 15. 2018, after four years with the dating app, according to the lawsuit. The complaint seeks unspecified financial damages for negligence, wrongful termination, sexual battery, sexual violence and retaliation.

Tinder declined to comment on the lawsuit. Match and IAC did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. Blatt could not immediately be reached for comment.

Tinder has encountered previous allegations of sexual harassment. In 2014, Whitney Wolfe, CEO of the dating app Bumble and a former VP of marketing at Tinder, sued Tinder for sexual harassment and discrimination.



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