Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s personal security chief has been accused of sexual harassment and making racist remarks about Zuckerberg’s wife Priscilla Chan.
Business Insider reports that two former members of Mark Zuckerberg’s private staff have accused the Facebook CEO’s personal head of security of sexual harassment, and making racist and homophobic comments. The former staff members allege that Zuckerberg’s head of security, Liam Booth, regularly made racist comments about Zuckerberg’s wife Priscilla Chan.
Booth is being accused by one staff member whose role was to prepare Zuckerberg’s multiple homes for his family’s arrival, the other employee was an executive assistant to Booth. Both have retained the law firm of attorney Lisa Bloom who worked with the alleged sexual harassment victims of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in 2017, which resulted in him being fired from the network.
Booth is a former secret service agent who is responsible for overseeing security for Zuckerberg and his non-Facebook businesses. A long list of accusations from the two former staff members describes “pervasive discriminatory conduct,” “horrific levels of sexual harassment and battery,” and an overall atmosphere in which staff members were regularly subjected to racist, homophobic, and transphobic rants and insults.
Brian Mosteller, the managing director of Zuckerberg’s private office and former special assistant to U.S. President Barack Obama, is also accused by the former staff members of failing to take action on these issues when they were brought to his attention. The staff members have not alleged that Zuckerberg himself was aware of these issues.
Zuckerberg spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement to Business Insider:
The family office takes complaints of workplace misconduct very seriously and our human resources team promptly investigates all such matters. The allegations against Liam Booth were brought to the office’s attention for the first time by The Bloom Firm after both former employees had left employment by the family office and engaged legal counsel.
As soon as The Bloom Firm presented these allegations, the family office engaged Munger, Tolles & Olson, an outside law firm, to conduct an investigation of all allegations made by The Bloom Firm to determine whether the claims have merit. The investigation is ongoing. Mr. Booth is on administrative leave pending the completion of this investigation.”
The allegations against Booth are quite detailed, in one instance it is alleged that Booth made racist comments about Priscilla Chan’s driving ability, stating that “she’s a woman and Asian, and Asians have no peripheral vision,” while pulling the sides of his eyelids into a slanted position. Booth is also accused of stating on more than one occasion that he “didn’t trust Black people” and that “white lives matter more than Black lives.” Booth is also accused of attempting to undermine diversity hiring goals by Chan and “complain[ed] about the number of Black people who worked at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.”
Booth is also accused of homophobic remarks. In one incident that took allegedly took place at the sushi restaurant Nobu, Booth allegedly grabbed his own crotch and told a household staffer who is gay “I’ll feed you something raw.” In another instance, Booth reportedly insisted on referring to a transgender staffer as “it” rather than their preferred pronoun.
Read the full report from Business Insider here.