Report: Arianna Huffington Knew About Sexual Harassment Allegations Beforehand

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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The female co-founder of the Huffington Post reportedly knew about the series of sexual harassment allegations against a then male managing editor, according to a Tuesday Gizmodo report.

Arianna Huffington, a long time champion of women’s rights, apparently knew in advance about Jimmy Soni’s, a managing editor at the time, alleged history of sexual harassment in the office, Gizmodo reported after speaking to nine former and current HuffPo employees.

One anonymous female employee told Gizmodo that Huffington “100 percent knew” about various sexual harassment allegations against Soni, even before they were brought to the attention of the company’s human resources department. Another employee who worked in a senior position also backed up the claim that Huffington knew about the issue in advance.

Soni was transferred from his managing editor position at HuffPo to go launch HuffPost India in 2014, presumably because of an investigation into sexual harassment complaints, Gawker reported previously. In a memo sent out to the staff, Huffington called it “great” that Soni would be working to launch the India initiative.

Other employees Gizmodo talked to also confirmed Soni was moved to India due to the sexual harassment investigation.(HuffPo previously declined to comment on this.) One female staffer alleged Soni repeatedly sent her and other female workers flirtatious messages over Facebook, while others claimed Soni was using a fellowship program at the company as a way to pursue romantic relationships.

A woman eventually reported Soni and his messages, leading to an investigation into the complaints. One source told Gizmodo that Huffington did not want to know about what was happening in the investigation.

Huffington is currently trying to fix the culture within the Uber company by making it more inclusive of women, as she sits on the company’s board of directors.

Neither Soni nor Huffington returned request for comment in time for publication.

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