Mark Zuckerberg’s personal security chief has been accused of sexual harassment and making racist statements about Priscilla Chan, the Facebook CEO’s Asian-American wife, Business Insider reported Thursday.
One of the accusers is a former employee of Zuckerberg’s household staff, while the other is a former executive assistant to the security chief, Liam Booth, BI reported. Lawyers representing the pair have sent letters regarding the allegations to the law firm representing the companies that provide security and support for the Zuckerberg family, BI reported.
The letters accuse Booth, a former Secret Service agent, with “pervasive discriminatory conduct,” “horrific levels of sexual harassment and battery” and fostering an environment in which staff were repeatedly subjected to racist, homophobic and transphobic diatribes, BI reported.The report didn’t identify the accusers because they’re alleged victims of sexual harassment.
One of the letters, sent by the law firm The Bloom Firm, alleges Booth made racist remarks about Chan’s driving ability in front of the household staffer, saying, “She’s a woman and Asian, and Asians have no peripheral vision,” while using his fingers to pull the skin near his eyes to the side, BI reported.
Booth also made racist comments to the security staffer, according to the letter, saying that he “didn’t trust black people” and “white lives matter more than black lives,” BI reported.
A spokesman for Zuckerberg’s family office said an investigation is underway and that Booth is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
“The family office takes complaints of workplace misconduct very seriously and our human resources team promptly investigates all such matters. The allegations against Liam Booth were brought to the office’s attention for the first time by The Bloom Firm after both former employees had left employment by the family office and engaged legal counsel,” the spokesman said. “As soon as The Bloom Firm presented these allegations, the family office engaged Munger, Tolles & Olson, an outside law firm, to conduct an investigation of all allegations made by The Bloom Firm to determine whether the claims have merit.”
Also named in the letter is Brian Mosteller, the managing director of Zuckerberg’s private office, who’s accused of failing to take action after being informed of the former staffers’ allegations, BI reported. There’s no allegation in the letters that Zuckerberg was aware of the alleged harassment.
A representative for The Bloom Firm confirmed it’s representing the former employees but didn’t immediately have a comment to offer.
Neither Booth nor Mosteller could immediately be reached for comment.
The Zuckerberg family has properties in Palo Alto and, California; San Francisco and the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Facebook for Zuckerberg and his family last year, the social media giant revealed last month in an SEC filing.