Gearbox has put out a statement addressing former General Counsel Wade Callender‘s accusations against CEO Randy Pitchford. Callender and Pitchford are enmeshed within a messy legal battle that sees both sides suing the other for violating their legal duties to the company.
Callender’s suit is mostly an attempt to seek financial reimbursement for breach of contract, but hidden within the suit were accusations that Pitchford possessed child pornography and hosted parties that involved adult men exposing themselves to minors.
Gearbox has responded to the allegations with the following statement given to Kotaku:
Gearbox will be filing a grievance with the State Bar of Texas against our former general counsel Wade for disciplinary proceedings for filing a lawsuit that includes accusations that he knows to be untrue. The lawyer’s rules of professional conduct expressly prohibit the filing of documents that are knowingly false. The tell is within Wade’s claim itself – his use of hedged lawyer language and clever application of quotation marks betray that he knows that the impression he is trying to create is based in lies. We imagine that he used the quotation marks and lawyer language in hopes that will give him some angles of defense when we inevitably take action against him for false statements. Wade is engaged in a shakedown and he’s clearly using deceit and lies to try to cause damage by promoting a narrative that he knows is false.
As we pointed out in our coverage of both lawsuits, as a licensed attorney in Texas, Callender is at risk of disbarment per the Texas Bar Association’s punishments for Professional Misconduct if his allegations were found baseless.
Pitchford himself has taken to Twitter to call Callender’s claims lies, and that the attacks have “no basis in reality or law,” which echoes a previous statement given by Gearbox.
The attacks made by my former friend and colleague have no basis in reality or law. He is simply trying to shake me down for money. We will win, but because lawsuits are pending I can’t comment as much as I’d like. I am shocked by his lies. Thanks for your love and support.
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) January 11, 2019
However, Pitchford himself has corroborated some of Callender’s account about the alleged child pornography.
Callender’s account involves Pitchford leaving a USB drive full of sensitive information about Gearbox and its partners at a restaurant in Texas, however, the drive also “contained Randy Pitchford’s personal collection of ‘underage’ pornography.” As reported by Ars Technica, Pitchford has admitted that the USB drive was left at the Mideival Times restaurant in Texas and contained sensitive information about Gearbox and its partners, as well as a video of amateur pornography.
From Ars Technica:
On the December 22 episode of The Piff Pod, Pitchford talks at length about porn that he enjoys watching, including “camgirl” pornography, in which a host exposes themself to a live feed and takes requests and financial tips from consumers. Pitchford explained that he was “a consumer of this content.” He confirmed that he copied a specific video “to this memory stick” to, as he describes it, “work out the method” of how a camgirl host faked the act of female ejaculation. (Be warned: he describes how the video looks in particularly graphic detail.)
“I realized, this is not a sex worker,” Pitchford said on the show. “This is a fucking magician.” Pitchford, for those unaware, has a vested interest in the field of magicians and owns the magic-focused Genii Magazine.
“This was before I learned I should probably have password-protected memory sticks,” Pitchford says, before admitting that he had indeed left a USB flash drive at a Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament restaurant. “Some kid, an employee of Medieval Times, discovered this memory stick, took it home… and discovered secrets of my company and future games in development, and also discovered the pornography. It was ‘barely legal’ porn. This girl’s handle was ‘Only 18.'” The USB flash drive was returned to Gearbox, Pitchford says, in exchange for “swag” and video games.