Global Market Data
Tales from the Trail
Lucy P. Marcus
David Cay Johnston
The Great Debate
Macro & Markets
Personal Finance Video
Life & Culture
"Batcopter" reveals swarming secrets
A research team at Boston University has designed the "batcopter" to study how bats fly together but never collide. Video
Online gambling ruling confusing, says Industry
Tech trends for 2012
Bird radar to ensure safe aviation
Toyota's new Aqua covers over 35km per litre
Attack of the T-Cells: live on video
North Korea's new leaders lash out at South Korea and allies
New details rekindle HP-Hurd flap
29 Dec 2011
Russia submerges nuclear submarine to douse blaze
29 Dec 2011
U.S. Saudi fighter jet sale to help offset Iran
29 Dec 2011
Asia stocks end 2011 sharply lower, Europe in focus
Obama to ask for debt limit hike: Treasury official
Gingrich questions Ron Paul on racist newsletters
Iran navy chief says shutting off Gulf ”very easy”
Freed Cuban tells of release joy
Thu, Dec 29 2011
Man and dog saved from LA cliff
Thu, Dec 29 2011
Cuba to release 2900 prisoners
Fri, Dec 23 2011
New details rekindle HP-Hurd flap
Special Report: The watchdogs that didn't bark
Thu, Dec 22 2011
Oracle miss sparks Wall St fears of spending cuts
Wed, Dec 21 2011
Supreme Court to decide Arizona immigration law
Mon, Dec 12 2011
HP opens webOS mobile software to others
Fri, Dec 9 2011
Insight: Apple vs Samsung lawsuit full of secret combat
Fri, Dec 2 2011
Analysis & Opinion
Tech wrap: Oracle’s woes may signal tech downturn
Oracleâ€™s rare stumble triggers double concern
Mark Hurd, chairman, CEO and president of HP speaks at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Pasadena, California July 24, 2009.
Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser
By Jim Finkle and Edwin Chan
Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:02pm EST
(Reuters) - Former Hewlett Packard CEO Mark Hurd made increasingly aggressive romantic advances over several years toward an independent contractor who later accused him of sexual harassment, according to claims in a letter from her lawyer obtained by Reuters.
The letter, ordered unsealed and allowed to be made public for the first time since the scandal emerged last year, outlined in intricate detail accusations by TV starlet and HP contractor Jodie Fisher that Hurd had wined and dined her, then allegedly sought sexual favors in return for employment.
Fisher retained celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who sent the letter in June 2010 accusing Hurd of hiring her with amorous designs. He tried repeatedly to "engage" her by asking Fisher to his hotel room and kissing her on the lips, according to a copy of the letter provided by a source close to the situation.
The letter is at the heart of a scandal that transfixed Silicon Valley in 2010 and culminated in the firing of Hurd, who was popular with investors on Wall Street and is now a president at HP rival Oracle Corp. Hurd, Oracle and even Fisher herself have said Allred's letter contained unspecified inaccuracies.
Still, its release threatens to revive the scandal as Hurd looks to put the dispute behind him and focus on his new job at Oracle, where one of his key responsibilities is selling high-end computer systems that compete with products from HP.
Hurd was ousted from HP on August 6 after Fisher - who was hired as a hostess for corporate events - accused him of sexual harassment, a claim an internal probe later dismissed.
"It is appalling that you would use HP revenues for the purpose of procuring female companionship and romance under the guise of HP business," Allred's letter read.
"She continually had to put you off, make excuses, scurry away or simply leave."
The letter is available at r.reuters.com/fav75s
Hurd's legal team had fought to keep the letter under seal, but a Delaware appeals court ruled this week it should be made public, though some portions would be redacted.
Sources had leaked details of the June letter to Reuters and other media in 2010. These included a claim that Hurd revealed details about HP's impending acquisition of Electronic Data Systems Corp before the deal was announced in 2008. Hurd has also denied that allegation.
Allred declined comment, as did a spokeswoman for HP.
The fresh revelations have re-focused the spotlight on Hurd's controversial firing, which preceded a period of instability at HP.
Outspoken Oracle CEO Larry Ellison blasted HP's board for being "cowardly" and promptly hired Hurd, who is married with children. Former SAP CEO Leo Apotheker replaced Hurd at the helm of the world's top computer maker, but lasted barely a year before Meg Whitman took up the baton.
The computer services giant missed Wall Street targets for several quarters, killed its much-touted TouchPad tablet, and first considered then backtracked on a plan to hive off its personal computer division, the world's largest.
The eight-page missive penned by Allred, well known for representing women accusing celebrities such as Tiger Woods and politicians of sexual misconduct, blasts Hurd for reducing Fisher to a "nervous wreck" as he continually sought sex with the former actress during meetings from Madrid to Los Angeles.
It detailed claims that the advances began after Hurd was "taken with" Fisher after spotting her on the short-lived TV series, Age of Love. At their first two meetings at hotels after Fisher was contracted, Hurd shared personal details about his life and sought the same from her.
According to the letter, matters escalated when Hurd invited Fisher up to his hotel room at the Atlanta Ritz and asked her to stay the night, kindling a one-sided pursuit that would last till 2009 and span cities around the world.
"This was the beginning of an uncomfortable dance that went on for almost two years," Allred wrote. "You would relentlessly attempt to cajole her into having sex with you."
Over the next year or so, Allred's letter described in detail various instances when Fisher allegedly fended off his advances, though she claimed she had dinner with Hurd several times out of fear for her job.
At one point, the HP CEO stopped at an ATM during a walk and showed Fisher that his checking account balance was over $1 million, which Allred claimed was an attempt to impress her.
Fisher stopped getting contracts for corporate event appearances shortly after a final meeting with Hurd in Idaho, during which Allred said the then-CEO had grabbed and kissed her, but was again spurned.
"She knew that if she did not have sex with you soon, her job was over, which is exactly what occurred," the letter said.
The tech blog AllThingsDigital first reported details of the June 24, 2010, letter.
(Editing by Gary Hill)
Related Quotes and News
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Be the first to comment on reuters.com.
Add yours using the box above.
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Advertise With Us
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.