Andy Rubin, the Android founder and former Google executive has been accused of running a “sex ring” by his ex-wife, according to court documents which were made public on Tuesday. A newly unsealed complaint shows how Google paid Rubin $90 million in severance after leaving the company amid allegations of having an “inappropriate relationship” with a subordinate and keeping these payments secret from his former wife for several years.
San Mateo Superior Court Judge Susan Greenberg unsealed a civil complaint brought by Rubin’s estranged wife, Rie Hirabaru Rubin on Tuesday. The complaint revealed how Google and its parent company Alphabet compensated the high-powered former executive in secret, which sparked outrage at Alphabet. The secret pay-off led to employee demonstrations, shareholder lawsuits, and revisions to policies on how the company handles sexual misconduct complaints.
Rie Rubin is suing her ex-husband for fraud relating to a pre-nuptial agreement, alleging that Mr. Rubin “concealed his numerous and sexual affairs” including “ownership” relationships with women during their marriage between 2009 and 2018.
According to his former wife, Andy Rubin would pay for women’s expenses in exchange for offering them to other men to watch them have sex. Screenshots of Rubin’s emails were found in the lawsuit, in which he stated: “You will be happy being taken care of.” Another one read: “Being owned is kinda like you are my property and I can loan you to other people.” She claims that this is just one of “at least” five infidelities throughout their marriage.
Rubin was fired from Google in 2014 after an employee complained that he had coerced her into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013. Google’s human resources department upheld her claim. While the findings were grounds for the company to terminate Rubin without further pay, executives signed off a $90 million (£71m) exit package that was paid in $2m chunks every month for four years, according to a New York Times article, which was published around the same time Rie Rubin filed for divorce.
The lawsuit never explicitly states that Google paid $90 million as part of an exit package, though it does say that “Rubin concealed his income” and that his wife “even now does not understand the full scope of his finances.” Rie Rubin has also alleged that Mr. Rubin opened a separate bank account a few months before he left Google in October 2014 to receive his earnings and make “hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to other women.”
Greenberg allowed the case to proceed in her ruling on Tuesday but asked that the plaintiff submit an amended complaint that removes many of the salacious charges around Andy Rubin’s alleged payments to other women for relationships, according to Buzzfeed News.
“We’re encouraged because the court’s tentative order permits the case to go forward,” said Brian Danitz, a lawyer for Rie Rubin. “Still, we’re disappointed the allegations regarding Andy Rubin’s relationships in exchange for payment has been stricken from the complaint.”