Speed Reads

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment claims topple 2 Wall Street executives, hit Hollywood director, restaurateur

Fidelity Investments dismissed two high-level executives in the past few weeks amid sexual harassment complaints, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post reported Sunday, and the Los Angeles Times and New Orleans Times-Picayune published reports of serial sexual harassment against a Hollywood writer/director and a New Orleans celebrity restaurateur, respectively. The investigations of sexual misconduct in some cases predated the revelations of alleged sexual assault by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, but they were published after a Weinstein-prompted #MeToo campaign in which women shared their harassment stories over social media.

At Fidelity, portfolio manager C. Robert Chow resigned earlier in October after colleagues accused him of making inappropriate sexual comments, and tech fund manager Gavin Baker was fired for allegedly harassing a 26-year-old female employee, the Post reports. Both men worked in Fidelity's stock-picking unit, and after an emergency meeting last week, Fidelity reportedly hired an outside consultant to audit behavior in the powerful division.

At least 38 women, meanwhile, told the Los Angeles Times that director James Toback had sexually harassed them, usually involving some form of aggressive masturbation. Toback has been making movies since 1974 and got an Oscar nomination for his Bugsy screenplay, but since he wasn't a household name, "Toback always kept his credentials handy when he introduced himself to women" around Manhattan, typically saying he could advance their careers, writes Glenn Whipp at the L.A. Times.

Twenty-four women told The Times-Picayune, meanwhile, that they were victims of sexual harassment at restaurants tied to celebrity chef and restaurateur John Besh. One women filed a federal employment discrimination complaint saying Besh himself coerced her into a sexual relations — he said it was consensual. The women collectively "described a company where several male coworkers and bosses touched female employees without consent, made suggestive comments about their appearance, and — in a few cases — tried to leverage positions of authority for sex," The Times-Picayune says.