Contributed by: ElyseRomano Thursday, September 12 2019 @ 12:13 pm
Rosette Pambakian, former Tinder VP of marketing and communications, is suing the company and its ex-CEO. Pambakian filed a lawsuit on Monday, August 5, accusing the former CEO of Match Group and Tinder, Gregory Blatt, of harassing and sexually assaulting her at a company holiday party in 2016. The suit also alleges that the company fired Pambakian in retaliation for going public with her accusations.
Pambakian says the assault took place at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. According to the lawsuit, Blatt approached Pambakian at the party and made sexual comments to her “in a lewd voice.” Pambakian says she went to a hotel room upstairs with two colleagues to get away from Blatt, but later that night, he found his way to their room. When he entered, he groped and kissed Pambakian while the two colleagues, one of whom was Blatt’s executive assistant, witnessed the nonconsensual encounter. Together they distracted Blatt until he finally left in a car service, the complaint says.
Pambakian initially made her allegations public in 2018 as part of a $2 billion lawsuit against the company. At the time, she wrote an email to Tinder employees explaining her decision to join nine other Tinder employees in the legal action.
“I am very proud of Tinder and the work that our amazing team is doing here,” Pambakian wrote. “I joined this suit because I believe that it is important to shine a light on the terrible practices I have witnessed from Match, including covering up sexual misconduct by senior executives and depriving talented employees of hard-earned compensation.”
Pambakian also sent an email to Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg shortly after her firing, saying she was subject to “ongoing intimidation and retaliation” designed to “pressure [her] into resigning.” She later withdrew from the lawsuit after an arbitration agreement she had signed with the company surfaced.
Pambakian’s new lawsuit claims Match Group conducted a sham investigation that concluded the behavior at the holiday party was “consensual cuddling” and that Blatt was protected from disciplinary action. According to the suit, she was “marginalized, subject to additional harassing, offensive, and insulting behavior, put on administrative leave, publicly accused of consenting to her attacker’s advances, and finally, wrongfully terminated by Defendants.”
Match Group countered by doubling down on its response to the earlier lawsuit. Ginsberg insists Pambakian never reported Blatt for sexual harassment and that she was terminated because she was unable to fulfill the duties of her role.
Pambakian’s lawsuit is now awaiting review by Los Angeles Superior Court.