Former executive sues Tinder, claims sex assault by ex-CEO

Rosette Pambakian

Tinder’s former marketing and communications chief Rosette Pambakian has sued the dating app, claiming she was sexually assaulted by its ex-CEO.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court said Rosette Pambakian was fired from her job as marketing vice president after complaining about the alleged 2016 incident.

Pambakian says former Match Group and Tinder CEO Gregory Blatt made a lewd overture to her at a company party at a hotel and later groped and kissed her without consent in front of two witnesses.

The lawsuit claimed that Blatt told Pambakian at the party that he got “hard every time I look at you,” according to The Verge. Later in the evening, Blatt is said to have visited Pambakian’s hotel room where the alleged assault took place. Pambakian claimed that he groped her breasts and upper thighs during the incident.

Pambakian’s lawyers said Match’s owner, InterActiveCorp (IAC), which is controlled by media mogul Barry Diller, conducted a sham investigation that concluded the behavior was “consensual cuddling.”

InterActiveCorp did not immediately reply to Business Insider’s request for comment. Tinder declined to comment when approached by CNBC. Match referred The Verge to an old statement in which it said it conducted a “thorough investigation” into Pambakian’s allegations.

The legal action is separate from another $2 billion lawsuit Pambakian co-filed last year. Along with nine other current and former Tinder staff, she claimed that IAC purposely undervalued Tinder to reduce the amount they had to pay in early employee options. It was in this lawsuit that her sexual assault claims against Blatt first surfaced. 

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