A former NFL star has accused the CEO of a New York-based Metaverse company of sexually harassing him and another black employee, alleging she used racial slurs, subjected him to bizarre pick-up lines and made indecent references to his sex life, two recent filings allege Complain .
Teyo Johnson — a former tight end for the Oakland Raiders — says Everyrealm CEO Janine Yorio created a toxic work environment, including a remark in which she threatened to “swap” Johnson if he didn’t comply with her requests, the New York Post reports.
Racism and sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former NFL star and former Everyrealm employee
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, named Yorio and Everyrealm as defendants, the latter of which has backers including Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, which has celebrity backers including Paris Hilton, Will Smith and The Weeknd and more.
Johnson also claims he was pushed into “sexually harassing games” where colleagues and clients were encouraged to sleep together.
He claims Yorio told him about a “sex-related game that she had encouraged employees to play” during a business trip to the SXSW (South By Southwest) festival in Texas in March.
The lawsuit further states that “KYP”, an acronym for “know your personal” or “KYC” – “know your client” – are “euphemisms for sex or meeting with colleagues and business partners”.
DENVER – 2007: Denver Broncos’ Teyo Johnson poses for his 2007 NFL headshot at photo day in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Getty Images)
White female CEO allegedly urged Johnson to sleep with co-workers, calling him a ‘stupid black person’
The female CEO, who is white, told Johnson that “the way to pay for the game” is “to get laid by a colleague on a business trip,” according to the lawsuit.
Johnson, whose job involved managing celebrity accounts, said Yorio reportedly asked him if “he would do KYP,” a comment that left him “stunned” by the proposal, before “politely letting her know that.” he’s really been ‘close to someone’.”
On the same night, the former NFL star claims Yorio “tested the waters” with him when he entered his hotel room and “in no uncertain terms indicated that she believed he was ‘cheating’ on his girlfriend “to play the company’s KYP game to participate”.
Johnson also claimed Yorio made offensive remarks about his girlfriend’s menstrual cycle, reportedly calling him a “stupid black guy” and “the whitest black guy.”
Yorio allegedly used other insults against Johnson, including “d***,” “big swinging d***,” and “f***ing d***,” the lawsuit says.
When the Post reached out to him for comment, a spokesman for Everyrealm called Johnson’s “lies” and tried to characterize him as an incompetent and lazy employee.
When two Web3 divas cross paths. @ParisHilton pic.twitter.com/Ea2hoJQNpu
— janineyorio (@janineyorio) March 16, 2022
“As we found in our court filings, this employee worked with the company for just three months and was terminated for poor performance, expense account abuse and falling asleep on the job,” the spokesman said in a statement.
Everyrealm denies allegations despite another similar lawsuit filed by a second former black employee
In her own lawsuit, Everyrealm also alleged that Johnson “openly and routinely belittled the mother of his child and demanded that Everyrealm pay a portion of his wages in cash to avoid garnishment for child support payments.”
The company added that it denied Johnson’s alleged request for cash.
“Johnson made various inappropriate comments at work about other women in his life, berated and referred to a junior employee, calling her a ‘beginner’ and refusing to meet her [Everyrealm co-founder Julia] Schwartz as ‘that bitch’ and Mrs. Yorio as ‘that crazy bitch,'” the company claimed in its filing.
However, Yorio faces similar allegations from another former black employee in a lawsuit filed last month.
Introducing our keynote speaker, Janine Yorio(@janineyorio), who will be speaking on a Gateway to the Metaverse at #KBW2022.
Janine Yorio is CEO of EVERYREALM(@everyrealm), one of the most active investors and developers in the Metaverse real estate ecosystem. pic.twitter.com/BitWesburt
— Korea Blockchain Week (@kbwofficial) July 4, 2022
Gatsby Frimpong, who previously worked as a product manager at Google, Microsoft, Apple and Cisco Systems, claims he was paid far less at Everyrealm when a white technical director was offered for nearly the same job.
Frimpong added that Yorio refused to consider him for a promotion after he allegedly turned down her sexual advances, reports The Post.
The company has described lawsuits as “extortionate,” while it is reportedly filing lawsuits of its own against the plaintiffs
Attempting to defend Yorio again, an Everyrealm spokesman told The Post: “These allegations are absurd. This former employee (Frimpong) worked remotely and Ms. Yorio only interacted with him a couple of times on video calls.”
“We will defend ourselves against his false allegations. These lawsuits are filled with false allegations by former employees seeking multimillion-dollar severance packages,” the company spokesman added. “Our company works hard to promote a supportive, inclusive workplace and we will continue to defend ourselves against these lawsuits.”
Everyrealm has reportedly filed its own lawsuits against Johnson and Frimpong — they are currently seeking to have the lawsuits dropped from litigation and submitted to arbitration.
The company also accused the plaintiffs of pursuing a $1.9 million “extortionate” settlement claim, according to The Post.