Davidar fired by Penguin for sexual harassment, didn’t quitJune 13th, 2010 - 10:10 am ICT by IANS
Toronto, June 13 (IANS) David Davidar, Indian-born president and CEO of Penguin Canada who announced Tuesday that he is voluntarily leaving the publishing giant, was actually terminated following a sexual harassment complaint by a former employee.
Joined by Penguin Group chairman John Makinson, Davidar had announced Tuesday that he is leaving the company to “pursue his successful writing career and other projects.”
But the very next day, Lisa Rundle, former director of digital publishing and foreign rights at Penguin Canada, filed a $523,000 lawsuit in a court here against Penguin, alleging that she faced sexual harassment for three years and then an outright assault by Davidar at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.
In the lawsuit, the Toronto woman alleged that when she complained against Davidar to her seniors, she was fired.
She has claimed $423,000 in damages from Penguin for her dismissal and treating her in “harsh, vindictive and malicious fashion” manner when she complained against Davidar. She has demanded another $100,000 in damages from Davidar personally for her sexual harassment.
The lawsuit forced both Davidar and Penguin to change their statement on the reasons for the Indian’s departure from Penguin. In a statement Friday, Davidar admitted, “At Penguin’s request, I agreed to publicly state that my departure was voluntary. The truth is that a former colleague accused me of sexual harassment and Penguin terminated my employment.”
However, he denied charges of sexual harassment.
Penguin Canada also issued a statement, saying, “Mr. Davidar was asked to leave the company last month and his departure was announced on June 8. Mr. Davidar will play no further role in the company.” Penguin also denied the woman’s charge that she was axed for complaining against Davidar.
Quoting the woman’s lawsuit, the Globe and Mail reported that it is accompanied by many lusty emails allegedly sent by Davidar to her in which he says that she is “utterly gorgeous,” “a vision in pink sipping a champagne cocktail,” and that he “could do very little except think of (her),” and that she should not be “stubborn” or “fight” him.
The lawsuit states that “Davidar over time became more and more intense with his persistent protestations of lust and desire for Lisa… and in return she became increasingly disturbed and afraid,” culminating in an outright assault on her at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.
According to the lawsuit’s statement of claim, Davidar appeared at her hotel room door (in Frankfurt), “wearing excessive cologne, with buttons on his shirt undone down his waist.
“Lisa stood in her hotel room into which Davidar had bullied his way, with her arms crossed, still near the door, and asked what he needed to discuss.
“He told her to relax and just let him come in. She refused and said she wanted to go to sleep.”
When she climbed on a windowsill to avoid her boss, “he forcibly pulled her off the ledge and grabbed her by the wrists, forcing his tongue into her mouth.”
For the golden boy of Penguin who started its Indian division from scratch and took it heights of Asia publishing before taking over Penguin Canada, it is a rather ignominious exit.
- Davidar admits Penguin fired him for sexual harassment (Lead) - Jun 13, 2010
- Ex-Penguin chief Davidar forced his tongue into mouth of sexually harassed employee - Jun 13, 2010
- Davidar had consensual flirtatious relationship with Rundle: Lawyer (Lead) - Jun 21, 2010
- Ex-Penguin CEO had consensual relationship with employee: Lawyer (Second Lead) - Jun 21, 2010
- Davidar settles sexual harassment suit at Penguin Canada out of court - Jul 07, 2010
- Penguin Canada rehires woman at center of sexual-harassment lawsuit - Jul 08, 2010
- Penguin rehires Davidar accuser Lisa Rundle - Jul 07, 2010
- Davidar sexual harassment suit settled out of court - Jul 07, 2010
- Davidar had consensual relationship with Rundle: Lawyer (Night Lead) - Jun 22, 2010
- 'Davidar had a consensual relationship with Rundle' - Jun 21, 2010
- Andrew Phillips replaces Davidar - Jun 24, 2010
- Davidar says will fight "trumped up" allegations - Jun 16, 2010
- Davidar stays mum, counter-claim may not help - Jun 22, 2010
- EX- Penguin Canada CEO Davidar planning to settle in India - Jun 14, 2010
- 'Davidar fell for Rundle at Penguin-Pearson meeting' - Jun 22, 2010
Tags: ceo, chairman john, colleague, damages, david davidar, digital publishing, fashion, frankfurt book fair, giant, globe and mail, group chairman, john makinson, penguin, penguin canada, penguin group, rundle, seniors, sexual harassment complaint, successful writing, toronto