This story involves reports of sexual harassment, abuse, and suicide.
Following Activision Blizzard coming under fire over claims of equal pay violations, sex discrimination, and sexual harassment, the company is now being sued by the family of one of its former employees who died by suicide in 2017.
According to The Washington Post, the family of Kerri Moynihan–a former finance manager at Activision Blizzard–is now suing the company for her wrongful death. Moynihan was found dead during a company retreat back in 2017. The family says the sexual harassment Moynihan experienced while working at Activision Blizzard was a “significant factor” in her death by suicide, which occurred shortly after her male co-workers circulated nude images of her. In the official 2021 California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit which first made mention of the incident, one of Moynihan’s supervisors was also accused of contributing to this sexual harassment by bringing sex toys with him on a business trip Moynihan accompanied him on.
In addition to these claims, Moynihan’s parents have also accused their daughter’s boss, Greg Restituito, of lying to investigators from the Anaheim Police Department about the nature of his relationship with Moynihan. According to Moynihan’s parents, Restituito and their daughter had a sexual relationship that he “made an apparent effort to hide” following her death. A police report included in the lawsuit also stated that Restituito made “seemingly unusual inquiries with other employees who were present with [Kerri] the night preceding her death.” Moynihan’s parents also stated that following their daughter’s death, Activision Blizzard reported Moynihan’s cellphone as “wiped,” refused to give investigators her company-issued laptop, and withheld access to Restituito’s laptop and cellphone.
Shortly after the reports of Activision Blizzard’s alleged role in Moynihan’s death surfaced last year, the company called the claims “distorted, and in many cases false.” Activision Blizzard then criticized the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for including mention of the suicide, writing “We are sickened by the reprehensible conduct of the DFEH to drag into the complaint the tragic suicide of an employee whose passing has no bearing whatsoever on this case and with no regard for her grieving family.”
Per The Washington Post’s report, Activision Blizzard has declined to respond directly to the allegations made in the Moynihan’s lawsuit. Instead, a spokesperson has stated the company is “deeply saddened by the tragic death of Ms. Moynihan, who was a valued member of the company. We will address the complaint through the legal process as appropriate, and out of respect for the family we have no further comment at this time.”