‘Davidar had a consensual relationship with Rundle’June 21st, 2010 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS
Toronto/New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) India-born David Davidar, former CEO of Penguin-Canada, who was forced to leave his job early this month following allegations of sexual harassment, reportedly “had a consensual flirtatious relationship that grew out of a close friendship with a colleague,” said a statement released by Davidar’s counsel from Toronto Monday.
“David Davidar has not sexually harassed anyone and has not assualted anyone… He deeply regrets the hurt this has caused his wife,” the statement by Peter A. Downard of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, a leading Toronto-based law firm that has been engaged as litigation counsel on behalf of Davidar said.
Explaining the nature of the relationship, Downard said, “Commencing in late 2005, Davidar and Lisa Rundle (the former director of digital publishing and foreign rights at Penguin-Canada) had offices next to each other at Penguin. They became friends. At work, Davidar and Ms Rundle spent significant time in each other’s offices. At Rundle’s invitation, Davidar played tennis with her at her tennis club. They went to a tennis tournament together. They attended the theatre together. They had lunches in restaurant together. Davidar came to think of Rundle as his closest friend and confidante at work.”
In 2007, their friendship became flirtatious, the statement said. “Davidar suggested to Rundle that their relationship become more romantic. Rundle informed Davidar that she had more than one suitor - Davidar amongst them - and that it would be important to her that any such relationship not be secret. Davidar accepted the situation and the flirtatious relationship continued. Davidar wrote Rundle personal emails, read poetry to her and they exchanged gifts from time to time. Throughout this friendship, Davidar would ask Rundle if she liked the attention he was paying her and she indicated she did,” the statement said.
Davidar’s counsel said “the former Penguin-Canada CEO and Davidar kissed on two occasions”.
“The first was in Rundle’s room during the October 2008 Frankfurt Book Fair referred to in Rundle’s claim. However, contrary to Rundle’s claim, Davidar did not bully his way into her room nor did he force himself upon her,” the statement read.
Davidar and Rundle spent two days in Frankfurt. Following the Frankfurt trip, Davidar travelled to India on business. “While Davidar was there (in India), his father became critically ill. Davidar extended his trip to be with his father in his final days. While away, Rundle sent an email to Davidar expressing her concerns and extending ‘her best thoughts’,” the statement claimed.
Davidar returned to Toronto after his father’s funeral before the Christmas of 2009.
Later in January 2010, Rundle requested a pay increase. “Davidar reminded her that her salaries at Penguin were frozen. However, he offered her the role of director of digital publishing and foreign rights. This justified a pay increase of $10,000,” Downard’s statement said.
In February 2010, Davidar “took stock of his life”, saddened by his father’s death.
“He felt that he could no longer continue his personal friendship with Rundle,” the statement said.
He told Rundle that “their relationship should be confined to business”.
Davidar’s counsel said “throughout Rundle’s employment with Penguin from 2005 to 2010, she was treated fairly, receiving regular promotions, salary increases and successful assessment. Davidar was at pains to remind her from time to time that no matter what happened between them on the personal front, Rundle’s professional career with Penguin would never suffer.”
The statement ended by saying “David Davidar is happily married. He deeply regrets the trouble that has been visited on his wife in recent days. He apologises to her.”
- 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 had consensual relationship with Rundle: Lawyer (Night Lead) - Jun 22, 2010
- Davidar sexual harassment suit settled out of court - Jul 07, 2010
- Penguin rehires Davidar accuser Lisa Rundle - Jul 07, 2010
- Thrill-seeking leads to workplace affairs: Experts - Jun 24, 2010
- Davidar settles sexual harassment suit at Penguin Canada out of court - Jul 07, 2010
- Davidar stays mum, counter-claim may not help - Jun 22, 2010
- Ex-Penguin chief Davidar forced his tongue into mouth of sexually harassed employee - Jun 13, 2010
- Davidar fired by Penguin for sexual harassment, didn't quit - Jun 13, 2010
- Davidar admits Penguin fired him for sexual harassment (Lead) - Jun 13, 2010
- Davidar says will fight "trumped up" allegations - Jun 16, 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
- Penguin Canada rehires woman at center of sexual-harassment lawsuit - Jul 08, 2010
Tags: allegations, closest friend, colleague, confidante, david davidar, digital publishing, downard, dumoulin, invitation, june 21, litigation counsel, New Delhi, penguin, penguin canada, rundle, sexual harassment, significant time, suitor, tennis club, tennis tournament