Teyo Johnson, the former NFL star who filed a $1.9 million lawsuit alleging that his tech boss subjected him to sexual harassment, has agreed to a settlement that will pay him barely more than $50,000, according to the company.
The former Oakland Raiders tight end alleged in court papers that Everyrealm co-founder Janine Yorio, 47, urged him to sleep with co-workers, made racist remarks, and uttered lewd comments about his sexual preferences.
According to the lawsuit, Johnson, was forced out of the New York-based metaverse company after turning down Yorio’s advances.
Everyrealm, whose backers include venture giant Andreessen Horowitz and whose celebrity endorsers include Paris Hilton and Will Smith, said in court docs that Johnson was fired for falling asleep on the job and poor performance.
Johnson, who is black, also alleged in court docs that he was paid less due to racial discrimination.
Yorio and Everyrealm countersuit last month, accusing Johnson of libeling the company by claiming that he wasn’t offered equity in the firm “while similarly situated white employees were.”
Everyrealm said that Johnson made “extortionate” demands for a settlement totaling $1.9 million payout, according to court rulings.
The warring factions ended up settling for $51,456, according to Everyrealm.
Johnson’s attorney, Shane Seppinni, declined to comment.
Seppinni gave a statement to the web site Law360 on behalf of Johnson, saying: “Statements made in the heat of litigation do not necessarily reflect reality, and this case is no exception.”
“I regret the harm this has caused Janine Yorio, Everyrealm, and its employees,” Seppinni said in the statement on behalf of his client.
Everyrealm also agreed to pay settlements to two other employees who brought similar claims against the company.
Gatsby Frimpong, another former Everyrealm employer represented by Seppinni, received $37,616.37 in the settlement, according to the company.
Last year, Frimpong filed suit alleging that he was paid far less than his white colleagues for similar work.
He also alleged in court documents that Yorio refused to consider him for a promotion after he rejected her sexual advances. Yorio denied the claims.
A third Seppinni client, Kathy Yost, who worked as a human resources executive at Everyrealm, was paid $38,847.79 in the settlement, according to Everyrealm.
Yost filed suit alleging that Yorio made sexually suggestive remarks about colleagues’ personal lives and that she publicly taunted Yost about her drinking problem.
Yorio has denied the claims.
Johnson, Frimpong, and Yost each demanded millions of dollars in their original lawsuits.
A spokesperson for Yorio ridiculed Seppinni and his clients, telling the Post: “Mr. Johnson and his cohorts demanded $7.4 million, but he walked away with $51,456.”
“Paying this is well worth avoiding any further time wasted on this sham of a lawsuit,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that Seppinni was paid $152,155.67 as part of the settlement — which is almost as much as his clients walked away with in total.
Source by [New York Post]