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An Alphabet Chief Legal Officer Called Himself “Far From Perfect” In Addressing An Extramarital Relationship At Work

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, declined to comment on the matter.

Posted on August 29, 2019, at 3:47 p.m. ET

Eric Piermont / AFP / Getty Images

Alphabet Chief Legal Officer David Drummond

After a former subordinate accused Alphabet Chief Legal Officer David Drummond in a blog post of philandering and refusing to pay child support for the son they had while they were together, Drummond called himself “far from perfect” in a statement addressing her claims.

On Wednesday, Jennifer Blakely, a former contracts manager in Google’s legal department, detailed her relationship with Drummond that began in 2004. Though Drummond was married at the time, the two had a child in 2007 and lived together, according to the blog post.

Blakely’s relationship with Drummond required her to transfer departments at Alphabet, the parent company of Google. She eventually left the company with the expectation that Drummond would financially support her and their son. In 2008, she said he ended their relationship.

“I’ve spent the last 11 years taking on one of the most powerful, ruthless lawyers in the world,” Blakely wrote, noting that Drummond would go for months without seeing his child or providing child support.

The allegations against Drummond come after a series of stories about executive misbehavior at one of the largest and most influential companies in the world. In late 2018, Google employees staged a worldwide walkout to protest an internal cover-up of a payment of $90 million to former senior vice president Andy Rubin, who allegedly coerced a subordinate into performing sexual acts.

Drummond’s personal statement does not address most of Blakely’s allegations, and notes that “it’s not a secret” that the pair had “a difficult break-up 10 years ago.” While he says he “regrets” his part in that breakup, he did not clarify what exactly he regrets.

“Her account raises many claims about us and other people, including our son and my former wife,” he said. “As you would expect, there are two sides to all of the conversations and details Jennifer recounts, and I take a very different view about what happened. I have discussed these claims directly with Jennifer, and I addressed the details of our relationship with our employer at the time.”

Google declined to comment on the matter and would not say if it was taking any action with its chief legal officer.

“I am regretful on many levels, but I’m also thankful for the growth in character I’ve had since then — and for my son,” Blakely wrote Wednesday. “What I never understood is why I was the only one bearing the consequences, especially when I knew David’s treatment of our son and me was nothing short of abuse.”

Here is David Drummond’s full statement. He does not say sorry.

Drummond did directly address Blakely’s allegation that he had carried on separate affairs with his personal assistant and a former colleague of hers.

“Other than Jennifer, I never started a relationship with anyone else who was working at Google or Alphabet,” Drummond said in his statement. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply untrue.”

Before Wednesday, Blakely had shared parts of her story, including her departure from Google and her custody battle for their son, with the New York Times. She described her treatment by the company as something that “amplifies the message that for a select few, there are no consequences,” she told the Times.

Blakely did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.

“I know Jennifer feels wronged and understand that she wants to speak out about it,” Drummond said. “But I won’t be getting into a public back and forth about these personal matters.”


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