Justin Mateen (left), Sean Rad and Whitney Wolfe
Justin Mateen, cofounder and chief marketing officer of the Tinder dating app, has been suspended after a former executive filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company on Monday.
Whitney Wolfe claims in court papers that she was fired after enduring more than a year of inappropriate comments from Mateen and the company's CEO Sean Rad.
Wolfe, the former vice president of marketing, was in a relationship with Mateen that ended in December, and in her suit
filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court she claims that Mateen, 28, repeatedly called her a "whore" in front of Rad, insulted her in front of other employees and told her that he was taking away her title of cofounder of the app because having a 24-year-old girl as cofounder devalued the company and made it "seem like a joke."
Wolfe supplied text messages that Mateen sent her as evidence in the lawsuit and claims in court papers that he subjected her to numerous "sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails, and text messages" while she was employed at Tinder.
She also claims that Rad ignored her complaints and fired her after she offered to resign and "leave peacefully if she could get a reasonable amount of severance and her vested equity."
"I had hoped this would be resolved confidentially, but after months of failed attempts, I have decided to pursue this suit," Wolfe said in a statement, USA Today
IAC, which owns Tinder, issued a statement
Monday explaining that Mateen had been suspended "immediately upon receipt of the allegations contained in Ms. Wolfe's complaint." The company is conducting an ongoing internal investigation but added that "through that process, it has become clear that Mr. Mateen sent private messages to Ms. Wolfe containing inappropriate content. We unequivocally condemn these messages, but believe that Ms. Wolfe's allegations with respect to Tinder and its management are unfounded."