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Ex-Googler describes relationship and mistreatment by company’s top lawyer


A former Google employee published an unvarnished account of her relationship with the company’s top legal executive, alleging that David Drummond fathered a son with her while he was married and abused her emotionally, in a scathing critique of an “oppressive and entitled” company culture that protects Google’s “elite men.”

Jennifer Blakely, who worked as a manager in Google’s legal department beginning in 2001, detailed her experience in a blog post on Wednesday titled “My Time at Google and After.”

“I lived through it first hand and I believe a company’s culture, its behavioral patterns, start at the top,” she wrote.

Blakely’s post provides a detailed, firsthand account of allegations detailed in a bombshell New York Times piece from last October which explained her relationship with Drummond, along with alleging the company’s multi-million payouts of departing executives amid sexual harassment claims.

Google did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the matter.

The blog post comes as Google has been rocked by numerous allegations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate relationships among its top male executives. Last year, employees at Google’s offices throughout the world staged a walkout to protest the company’s handling of harassment reports.

“Don’t expect me back. I’m never coming back.”

Blakely said her and Drummond’s relationship started in 2004 when the two both worked in the company’s legal department. Drummond was still married, but he was estranged from his wife at the time, according to Blakely. The two would have a child together in 2007.

By that time, Google had banned relationships between those in a “direct-reporting line” and because Drummond was chief counsel (or, head of the legal department) their relationship violated company policy. Blakey was asked by human resources to move to the sales team, where, she said, she had little experience.

Blakely said she struggled in her new role, became depressed, and eventually decided to leave the company, confident that Drummond, who at that point had moved in with her and their son, would “protect us.”

Read more: A former Uber and Google executive has been indicted on accusations of stealing self-driving-car tech

But by October 2008, Blakely said, things changed.

One night, after having to leave a dinner party early to attend to their sick son, Blakely said she received a text from Drummond that read: “Don’t expect me back. I’m never coming back.”

Blakely said that indeed, Drummond never came back.

Since then, Blakely said the past 11 years have been filled with custody battles and Drummond dealing with the situation “exclusively on his terms.”

“If I objected to his terms, if I didn’t ‘play ball,’ he would punish me by punishing our son,” Blakely wrote. “Months or years would go by where he wouldn’t see him or respond to my calls or texts with updates and pictures of him or even ask how he was doing.”

On one occasion, which Blakely described in her piece, Drummond came to visit their son and while doing so, the tech exec showed her a Daily Mail article detailing then Google Executive Chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt’s open marriage and affairs with younger women.

Eric Schmidt
Sean Gallup / Getty Images

“The article was apparently a reminder to me of how things worked,” Blakely wrote. “David was (and is) a powerful executive.”

This past November, Blakely said seeing 20,000 Google employees protest how the company protects its “elite men” brought tears to her eyes.

Today, David Drummond remains Alphabet’s Senior Vice President of corporate development and Chief Legal Officer. His role, however, seems to have moved out of the public eye as of late. At this year’s annual shareholder meeting, for instance, an event Drummond routinely hosted, the chief counsel was instead seated in the audience, off-stage.

Last October, in an email to employees, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that 48 employees had been fired as a result of sexual harassment claims over the past two years, 13 of which were senior managers or held more senior posts.


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