Re/code reports that the board of RadiumOne fired CEO Gurbaksh Chahal last night because he was convicted of two misdemeanors for domestic violence and battery. Before the news broke, Chahal posted this error-ridden blog post defending his actions, where he described the victim as a whore.
In the defense post, Chahal blames the victim, the police, and the District Attorney's office. He claims security footage from his penthouse apartment that allegedly showed him hitting and kicking the victim 117 times in half an hour is exaggerated.
Thee [sic] tape in question that was thrown [sic] was also bullshit.
Prosecutors told a different story in a motion seeking to rail Chahal's bail. According to court documents, prosecutors said Chahal was angry when he learned his girlfriend had gone to Las Vegas with another man and cheated on him.
The alleged attack reportedly occurred about 10:30 a.m. in his home. He beat her, pulled her hair and threatened to kill her despite multiple pleas from the victim, the court documents said.
She called 911 when he left the room, prosecutors said, and commented to investigators that when police rang the doorbell she was "saved by the bell."
Police reportedly seized surveillance video from cameras inside the bedroom. The video provides a "grisly picture" of the attack, prosecutors said.
The situation that resulted in my legal case began when I discovered that my girlfriend was having unprotected sex for money with other people. (She testified to this in her interviews with the cops.) I make no excuse for losing my temper. When I discovered this fact and confronted my girlfriend, we had a normal argument. She called 9-11 after I told her I was going to contact her father regarding her activities. And yes, I lost my temper. I understand, accept full responsibility and sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart for that. But I didn't hit her 117 times, injure her, or cause any trauma as the UCSF medical reports clearly document. This was all overblown drama because it generates huge volumes of page views for the media given what I have accomplished in the valley.
Kara Swisher, who broke the news of Chahal's ouster, says that RadiumOne will officially announce his firing within the hour.
Chahal hired the same high profile trial lawyer defending alleged arms dealer Leland Yee as well as Sam Singer's crisis management firm. He does not appear to have sought their advice before writing his defense. The tags on the post are: "domesitc [sic] violent, exxageration [sic], injustice, innnocnence [sic], legal case."
Techcrunch got a copy of the victim's medical report, which said she suffered a hematoma after the attack. In light of that, TechCrunch dropped RadiumOne as a sponsor for the upcoming TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York.
Forbes reported the sequence of events that led to a reduced plea:
The video from the surveillance (sex?) cams was ultimately thrown out by the judge though because the police seized the video without a warrant. The prosecutors said police needed to seize the DVR recording because they worried it would be destroyed, but the judge didn't buy it, even though law enforcement got a warrant before actually watching the video, according to Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian. That, plus his girlfriend choosing not to testify against him, paved the way for his reduced plea in the case to misdemeanor domestic violence. (It's felony level if there's visible signs of abuse on the victim, the San Francisco Police Department tells me.)
There are also significant legal complexities behind firing Chahal, according to Re/code:
Sources with knowledge of the situation said that this reason the decision took so long is that it is legally complex, due to Chahal's massive stake in the company that gives him a large amount of control over RadiumOne.
Not enough, it seems. It's not clear if this sets up a legal challenge by Chahal, who has long held sway over the board. Whether he can be fired has been suggested by some, but it looks like the board thinks it has the right to do so.
Update: Here is the official statement from RadiumOne (via Re/code). It's unclear whether Chahal will try to contest the decision:
RadiumOne terminates Gurbaksh Chahal as CEO and Chairman
Bill Lonergan appointed as CEO
San Francisco (April 27, 2014) – At a board meeting yesterday evening, RadiumOne's board of directors voted to terminate the employment of Gurbaksh Chahal as CEO and Chairman of the company. Bill Lonergan, the company COO, will take over as CEO of the Company immediately. Bill has an extraordinary professional background and has helped build Blue Lithium and RadiumOne into industry leading brands. We are confident he will continue Radium One's impressive trajectory.
RadiumOne builds software that automates media buying, making big data actionable for digital marketers.
RadiumOne uses programmatic advertising to connect brands to their next customers by incorporating valuable first-party data about behaviors, actions and interests demonstrated by consumers across web and mobile touch points.
Based in San Francisco, RadiumOne has offices across the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.
This post is developing and we will update it as we hear back from the District Attorney's office about Chahal's claims. For more context on the case, please see our previous reports. To contact the author of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Image via Getty]