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Facebook’s security boss leaves

by on10 July 2019

No proof of sexual misconduct and racist slurs

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's personal security chief won't be returning to his job after being accused of sexual misconduct and slurs that included racist remarks about Zuckerberg's wife, Priscilla Chan.

Five weeks ago, a Business Insider article uncovered a litany of allegations against Liam Booth, whose LinkedIn profile described him as a former Security Service officer who had been working with Zuckerberg's family charity since 2017.

The allegations, made by the former employees through their lawyers at The Bloom Firm included accusations of "pervasive discriminatory conduct", "horrific levels of sexual harassment and battery", and of creating an environment in which support staff were repeatedly subjected to homophobic and transphobic diatribes.

Then there were allegations that Booth made racist remarks about Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg's wife.

Booth was placed on leave since the allegations surfaced. Ben LaBolt, a representative for the family office, said internal investigations by the office's human resources department and its law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson could not substantiate the allegations, but Booth has decided to leave anyway — prompting renewed calls from the accusers' lawyers for an independent investigation.

One of the demand letters alleges that Booth made racist remarks to the household staffer about Chan's driving ability, including that "she's a woman and Asian, and Asians have no peripheral vision", while pulling his eyelids to the side in a racist caricature.

The other letter accuses Booth of making a series of racist remarks to the security staffer. On more than one occasion, the letter alleges, Booth told the staffer that he "didn't trust Black people" and that "white lives matter more than Black lives". The letter accuses Booth of bragging about deliberately attempting to undermine Chan's diversity goals in hiring and of complaining about the number of black people who worked at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. When the security staffer objected to that remark, the letter alleges, Booth "angrily advocated against diversity in the workplace and the movement Black Lives Matters, which he called 'reverse racism".

Although its investigation didn't stand up the accusations, Zuckerberg's family office said Booth agreed he shouldn't return to work to minimise "distractions".

"Booth knows that minimising distractions is vital to executing the security duties in this role, so he has decided to move on from the family office to pursue other opportunities. The family office is grateful for his service and wishes Booth the best in his future endeavours."

Internet wags have been saying that if the allegations are true he should get a cushy job working for Donald Trumps' ICE patrols on the Mexican border.



Last modified on 10 July 2019
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