Ex-NFL star claims ‘racist’ CEO urged him to sleep with co-workers, lawsuit says
Everyrealm CEO Janine Yorio allegedly threatened to "trade" Teyo Johnson, a former tight end for the Oakland Raiders who had played football at Stanford University.
A former NFL star has filed a lawsuit alleging that the “racist” CEO of a New York-based metaverse corporation urged him to participate in “sexually harassing games” with his co-workers.
Teyo Johnson is suing Everyrealm and its CEO, Janine Yorio, accusing her of overseeing a toxic workplace where she made lewd remarks about employees’ sex lives and racial slurs directed at Black employees, according to the New York Post.
Yorio allegedly threatened to “trade” Johnson, a former tight end for the Oakland Raiders who also played football while an undergraduate at Stanford University, if he didn’t do his job.
Johnson claimed that while on a business trip in March to the South By Southwest event in Austin, Texas, Yorio encouraged him to play a game where the acronyms “KYC” and “KYP,” which stand for “know your client” and “know your personnel,” respectively, were “euphemisms for having sex or hooking up with co-workers and business partners,” the lawsuit claims.
Yorio allegedly advised Johnson that being sexually involved with a co-worker on a business trip was the way to play. Johnson told the CEO he was “already really close with someone,” per the lawsuit. In response, she allegedly visited his hotel room and implied she believed he would cheat on his girlfriend to participate in the game.
Additionally, Johnson said Yorio called him “the whitest Black person” and a “stupid Black person” while making insulting jokes about his girlfriend’s menstrual cycle. Johnson accused Yorio of calling him “d–k” and “f–king d–k,” among other epithets.
A spokesperson for Everyrealm denies the “lies” Johnson has made against the company and its CEO in the lawsuit, filed in August in Manhattan federal court.
“As we have stated in our court filings, this employee worked at the company for only three months,” the spokesperson said in a statement, according to The Post, and “was terminated for poor performance, expense account abuse, and falling asleep on the job.”
Everyrealm further claimed in a court document that Johnson publicly and regularly disparaged the mother of his child and asked that the company pay a portion of his income in cash to avoid garnishment for child support payments. The company said it rejected the request.
Yorio faces similar accusations in a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court in December by Gatsby Frimpong, another Black former employee. Frimpong claimed that Yorio passed him over for a promotion after he refused her advances and that he was paid significantly less than a white engineering director for comparable work.
A representative at Everyrealm called the accusations “absurd,” adding that Frimpong was a remote worker and that he and Yorio only occasionally spoke on video calls.
“These lawsuits are filled with false allegations by former employees who are demanding multimillion dollar settlements,” the spokesperson said, The Post reported. “Our company works hard to foster a supportive, inclusive workplace, and we will continue to defend against these lawsuits.”
Johnson’s lawsuit also claims that William Kerr, the company’s general counsel, referred to celebrity hotel heiress Paris Hilton, an Everyrealm investor, as “a night in Paris,” which is the name of a 2004 internet-leaked revenge porn movie.
The former NFL athlete was shocked that he was obliged to listen to the negative remarks and “sexually harassing nickname” from Kerr, the lawsuit states.
Everyrealm allegedly terminated Johnson for exposing a cryptocurrency-based “gambling scheme” using professional soccer players’ NFT (non-fungible token) playing cards.
“Users would enter cryptocurrency into a pool and then win prize money if their NFT playing cards performed better than the other players’ NFTs,” according to the lawsuit, The Post reported. Johnson believed the scheme violated several New York and federal laws since “randomizing the packs of cards … would qualify as a game of chance and thus be illegal,” according to the filing.
Johnson asserts that Yorio “soured on” him, and that she and her executive team purposefully ruined his attempt to establish a relationship between Everyrealm and the NFL in retaliation for exposing the crypto fraud.
Everyrealm has taken legal action against Johnson, Frimpong, and a third employee who sued, former human resources director Katherine Yost, alleging that the plaintiffs were pursuing an “extortionate” $1.9 million settlement demand and attempting to have the disputes resolved through arbitration instead of litigation. Yost alleged “discriminatory and illegal policies and acts,”
“Janine Yorio and her enablers at Everyrealm’s comments show just how scared they are of the truth,” said Johnson’s attorney Shane Seppinni, according to The Post.
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