Tech titan and TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington is known for his virtual outbursts and high temper when it comes to Silicon Valley drama, and his yacht. But an ex-girlfriend now claims that Arrington was violent toward her in real life, and threatened to "murder" her if she told anyone.
On Thursday, Jenn Allen, the CEO and founder of start-up RTist.com posted the following public status update to her 4,500 Facebook subscribers:
Last post on someone i'm completely over. I've never been lonelier in my entire life. To all my friends who loved me for who I am - thank you. Power hungry people, I loved Michael Arrington for 8+ years starting when i implemented Eurekster search at the time on Techcrunch in 2006 and throughout the years i didn't know he cheated on me multiple times, then tells people it was me immediately after he did it. It hurts when you love someone borderline and they can't feel anything at all for you, and threaten to murder you if you told anyone about the physical abuse - all for keeping his reputation. The emotional abuse was equally bad. On a positive note, it can't get any worse than this and I can't get myself of this bed.
We've been able to confirm that Arrington and Allen dated at least in 2006. Multiple photos on Allen's Flickr account show the two together at the time. Though Allen claims in her post that she loved Arrington for more than 8 years, it doesn't appear (from publicly available evidence, at least) that their relationship lasted that long: Starting in 2008, Arrington was reported to have an on-and-off relationship with Silicon Valley heiress and socialite Meghan Asha.
Since 2010, Allen has been running RTist, an online art gallery. That year she accepted a tech blog's award of "sexiest female entrepreneur of the year." Though her relationship with Arrington appears to have soured, Allen's professional contact with him hasn't totally tapered off. In a 2010 TechCrunch post about women in tech, Arrington singled Allen's RTist out as a successful female-launched company. And in 2012 the two were photographed, smiling together, at the TechFellow Awards at SF MOMA.
Arrington remains one of the tech industry's key power-brokers. After selling TechCrunch to Aol in 2011, he had a public blow-up over the direction Arianna Huffington was taking the site and was either fired or stormed off late that year, depending on what spin you believed, to run his venture capital firm, CrunchFund. But Arrington re-joined TechCrunch in 2012 as a columnist, and has been writing regularly for the site since.
Arrington and Allen did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Update: A commenter claiming to be Jenn Allen has leveled more detailed allegations against Mike Arrington, including that he raped her and another woman. We've been unable to verify that this is actually Allen. Whoever it is appears to be extremely distraught, and we're trying to get to the bottom of this.
Commenter JennNella writes:
I've looked inward and outward long enough to finally say something and know exactly why I had to say it. His lies, abuse, threats and what he did to a friend of mine 5 months ago was unforgivable as well. He raped her, and she told me in person he called her to confirm he did it after the fact. I'll leave it up to her if she ever wants to report it or say anything. This madness needs to stop, or he needs to start controlling his rage and rape 'disorder.'
Update II: Allen has confirmed to Gawker that she was the one who left the comments under the name JennNella.