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Latest lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleges sexual harassment, sexual battery and blackmail

Plaintiff calls Activision Blizzard "a massive video game company with a massive sexual harassment problem"
Latest lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleges sexual harassment, sexual battery and blackmail

Content warning: this article contains references to sexual harassment and abusive behaviour.

Appearing unable to escape a long-running series of scandals, Activision Blizzard faces another lawsuit in its latest alleged sexual harassment case.

As reported by the Daily Mail, a former Activision Blizzard employee identified as Jane Doe has filed a suit in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming to have been groped, blackmailed and belittled by product manager Miguel Vega.

Doe started out with Activision Blizzard in 2016, taking on independent contractor work until she was hired into the Player Support Department in 2020.

A massive problem

"Activision Blizzard is a massive video game company with a massive sexual harassment problem," the plaintiff stated in the lawsuit.

The suit also alleges sexual battery, failure to prevent harassment, gender discrimination and more, with an unspecified amount of compensation being sought in recompense. Whilst Vega has been fired from Activision Blizzard, Doe is also seeking punitive damages against her former manager and the company.

The latest threat, according to the suit, was in August 2021; allegedly, Vega had "compromising photos" of Doe from before her employment at Activision Blizzard and had threatened to release them on more than one occasion, stating: "Maybe I'll blackmail you with those pictures I have to get you to leave your husband so you can come stay with me."

Activision Blizzard shareholders re-elected CEO Bobby Kotick to the company board this June, but Doe has called for his removal as CEO; under Kotick’s watch more than 700 reported incidents have occurred, the suit states.

"We take all employee concerns seriously," said a representative for Activision Blizzard. "When the plaintiff reported her concerns, we immediately opened an investigation, and Mr. Vega was terminated within 10 days. We have no tolerance for this kind of misconduct."

In March this year, Activision Blizzard stated that it would create an $18 million fund to compensate eligible claimants as a result of its lawsuits.