Personal aides to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are facing a slew of misconduct accusations including assault, sexual harassment, and transphobia, according to a new report. Zuckerberg’s family is also feeling the heat for the way it has handled the internal crisis.
Business Insider has published an exclusive investigation into Zuckerberg’s “secretive family office,” uncovering what the news site called “a workplace in crisis” over the way the family has dealt with the allegations.
The Zuckerberg-Chan family office is facing accusations that it has downplayed the misconduct allegations and that the family seems to be more interested in preserving its privacy and posh lifestyle.
In a Business Insider investigation into Mark Zuckerberg’s household staff, sources described a startling pattern of allegations of serious misconduct against multiple aides to one of the wealthiest & most powerful families in the world. w/ @beckpeterson https://t.co/kojww1ROOH
— Rob Price (@robaeprice) February 28, 2020
Business Insider said that none of the allegations, which span a period of three years, has yet to rise to the point of a court fight and that only some have required police involvement.
A spokesman for the family said the accusations are a “collection of unfounded rumors, exaggerations, and half-truths” intended to malign several employees of the family.
“We believe that these allegations have been advanced by a small group of disgruntled former employees who are attempting to defame the family office after the family office refused their demands for multi-million dollar payments following their separation of employment,” the spokesman said in a statement to Business Insider.
The first instance of alleged misconduct took place in 2017, when a female assistant for the family claims she was assaulted by one of Zuckerberg’s top aides while at the family’s residence in Hawaii. The alleged incident occurred during a late-night drunken encounter and ended with the victim waking up with a head injury.
Police looked into the incident as a misdemeanor assault, but charges were never filed, according to Business Insider.
The Zuckerberg-Chan family office also hired a law firm to conduct an outside investigation, which found that there was no basis to conclude that the injury was caused by a co-worker, according to the family spokesman.
Another incident involved several employees who accused the family office’s security head of making homophobic, racist, and transphobic remarks. In one instance, the executive allegedly referred to a transgender person as “it.”
Business Insider reported that two of the alleged incidents were reported and that the accusers are working with a lawyer.
Other allegations include a security employee allegedly asking a colleague to bend down so she could look at her backside. In another instance, a contract worker alleged that a medical worker once told her he “wanted to have sex with her.”
Some workers told Business Insider they have lost faith in the organization’s ability to fairly investigate and resolve disputes.
Zuckerberg is reportedly worth more than $82 billion, though his personal fortune on paper has taken a sizable hit in the past week due to the market downturn related to fears about the coronavirus.
He has been ranked as the fifth richest person in the world by Forbes.