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Former Unity Employee Adds Libel, Slander to Lawsuit Against Company

Anne Evans, who previously filed a lawsuit against former employer Unity, has filed an amended lawsuit to add charges of libel and slander, according to the court document.

Evans’ original filing last week included charges of sexual harassment against CEO John Riccitiello and other individuals at the company. She also filed for retaliation after disclosing that she was harassed, and also accused the company of wrongful termination. The amended lawsuit was filed Monday and sent to Variety, accompanied by a press release.

“Today, on behalf of Ms. Evans, the Law Office of Noah D. Lebowitz has filed a First Amended Complaint to add claims against Unity for libel and slander, alleging that each of the statements was false and defamatory, designed to further retaliate against Ms. Evans, to punish her for filing her claims, and to discourage others from doing the same,” the press release stated. “Ms. Evans will not be bullied, even by a multi-billion dollar tech company. She will continue to fight for her legal rights in the appropriate forum: a court of law. Ms. Evans looks forward to proving her claims in court, which is where she will litigate this case, not by mass email, the worldwide press, or social media.”

In the original and the amended lawsuit, Evans detailed several encounters with Riccitiello in which she alleges that he propositioned her for sex on multiple occasions before telling her to not speak of the matter to anyone.

Evans was ultimately fired for accepting gifts from another employee she was previously in a relationship with, despite her telling Unity General Counsel at the time that she was not aware of any such policy in place at the company. Evans also claims in the lawsuit that she had previously seen other employees giving and accepting gifts, and stated that Riccitiello had given several expensive gifts to another employee he was in a relationship with.

The amended filing includes libel and slander charges due in part to an internal memo that made the rounds and was also included in our original story (which you can read here), in which Evans is accused of “serious misconduct.”

“Importantly, several months ago, we conducted a third-party investigation involving Anne’s behavior during her employment,” a portion of the memo reads.”The investigation surfaced facts that she engaged in serious misconduct and established multiple instances in which she demonstrated a gross lapse in judgment and this led to her termination. This was an undesirable outcome for Anne, and we had been working with her on the details of her departure when she filed a public lawsuit that includes false and damaging claims against Unity, its employees and John, in particular.”

In addition to disputing the claims in the internal document that was released, Evans’ filing also acknowledges public statements made by Unity co-founder David Helgason, in which he backs up the claims made in the letter and in the statement sent to the press.

“Our response is quoted in the article too,” Helgason wrote in a tweet on Sunday, “if we believed the allegations, John would no longer be here.”

When reached for comment, a Unity representative deferred to the previous comment the company provided to Variety on Saturday, which is as follows:

“Unity intends to vigorously defend against the false allegations asserted by Anne Evans. Following a third-party investigation that surfaced facts that Evans engaged in serious misconduct and established multiple instances in which she demonstrated a gross lapse in judgment, Unity terminated her employment.”

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