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New details emerge on flap between HP, Hurd

Last Updated: Friday, December 30, 2011 - 09:27

Los Angeles: Former Hewlett Packard CEO Mark Hurd made romantic advances over several years toward an independent contractor who later accused him of sexual harassment, according to a letter from her lawyer.

Contractor Jodie Fisher retained celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who sent a letter in June 2010 accusing Hurd - now an Oracle Corp co-president - of hiring her with romantic designs.

He tried repeatedly to "engage" her by asking Fisher to his hotel room and kissing her on the lips, among other things, according to a copy of the letter provided by a source close to the situation.

The letter is at the center of a scandal that transfixed Silicon Valley in 2010 and culminated in the firing of Hurd, who was popular with investors on Wall Street.

The former CEO's legal team had fought to keep the letter under seal, but a Delaware appeals court ruled this week it should be made public.

Its uncovering threatens to revive a sensational episode in the history of a decades-old Silicon Valley institution. Hurd was ousted from HP on August 6 after Fisher - a former TV starlet - accused him of sexual harassment, a claim an internal probe later dismissed.

"It is appalling that you would use HP revenues for the purpose of procuring female companionship and romance under the guise of HP business," Allred's letter read.

Hurd has denied sexual harassment claims and Fisher has said the letter contained inaccuracies. On Thursday, an Oracle senior vice president and Hurd's attorney repeated that the letter contained inaccuracies, without specifying them.

Sources had leaked details of the June letter to various media groups in 2010, including how Hurd had revealed details about HP's impending acquisition of Electronic Data Systems Corp before the deal was announced 2008. Hurd has also denied that allegation.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, December 30, 2011 - 09:27
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