Digital news company Mic announced on Tuesday that they fired reporter Jack Smith IV after multiple women accused him of emotionally abusive behavior and sexual misconduct.
“Because of the multiple, disturbing allegations made in this story against Jack Smith, we have terminated our contract with him, effective immediately,” executive news director Kerry Lauerman told Mic staff on Monday night, according to a report by The Wrap.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we’ll have more to say in the coming days, but wanted to let the staff know of our decision tonight, given the nature,” Lauerman added.
Smith was implicated in a Jezebel article published on Monday. As Jezebel noted, the way Smith treated women in relationships was at odds with his public persona as a champion for social justice and women’s rights.
Five women told Jezebel on the record that Smith emotionally abused and manipulated them. Three of those women said Smith’s abusive behavior led to coercive sex.
One accuser named Nina in the report said that after a date, “Smith began an hours-long bout of verbal abuse, standing over her as she curled up on the couch, pointing his finger and accusing her of lying to him about everything from her dating history to her age.”
“[Smith] pulled me into this world that was all about him and his desires and fulfilling those desires and found ways to subtly punish me if things weren’t to his liking,” another woman, named Judith, said. “There were these emotional games that made me question myself and question my sanity.”
Smith reportedly sent Jezebel a cease and desist letter to keep the piece from being published.
Smith was previously suspended from Mic in July pending an “internal review” into his treatment of women, but he went back to work on September 5 after the investigation found “no evidence that Jack had behaved improperly at Mic.”