Tech investor and CEO of branding and marketing agency Fenox Venture Capital, Anis Uzzaman, filed a complaint this week alleging that the male CEO of a rival company anonymously published a blog in which he posed as a woman accusing Uzzmaman of sexual harassment, The Guardian reports.
The accused party, Brandon Katayama Hill, is the founder of Btrax, a direct competitor of Fenox. According to the suit, the blog post in question—titled “I was sexually taken advantage of by a Silicon Valley VC”— was traced to the IP address of Hill’s home. Hill denied to The Guardian on Thursday that he wrote the blog, and maintained that other people with access to his wifi must have wrote it. Katrina Saleen, Uzzaman’s attorney, told The Guardian that her team has confirmed Hill’s wifi is password-protected.
The blog, written in Japanese, does kind of sound fake in hindsight, but that has more to do with bad writing than it depicting an implausible situation. In it, the author recounts how “she” met the “very famous” CEO at a startup event, after which he invited her to stay with him at a five-star hotel, saying, “You are going to lose the biggest opportunity if you do not come.” The post also alleges, “A lot of people from Japan, including students and many very cute girls come to him, and he takes advantage of them.”
“To have these false accusations come particularly in this climate when there’s this growing awareness of a problem that does exist, it’s damaging. It’s also an insult to true victims of sexual harassment … It makes people question the veracity of true victims, which is harmful.”
Just as easily, it could make people stop believing men.