After dodging 45 felonies and pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of battery and domestic violence, recently ousted RadiumOne CEO Gurbaskh Chahal took to the internet last night to defend himself in the court of social media opinion. Like so many tech entrepreneurs before him, Chahal's online defense just reinforces an image of unrepentant bad boy.
His former company has also responded to the controversy.
Over at Re/code, where Kara Swisher has been doing an excellent job of following the story, they've got a copy of the entire internal memo from RadiumOne's new CEO Bill Lonergan. The memo states that Chahal's "ability to lead the company had been severely compromised by the legal proceedings and ensuing developments." When it was clear he would not step down voluntarily, despite being given the chance to do so, the board voted to terminate his employment.
Lonergan goes on to say the company does not believe their former CEO has any legitimate claims to take action against them, but Chahal will retain a seat on the board — albeit one that Lonergan says will have "no executive authority" and no impact on business decisions.
The memo also briefly mentions other "allegations of illegal and unscrupulous activities" by Chahal. Valleywag and Business Insider have helpfully recalled an earlier case in which Chahal sued his assistant Rafael Rojas for embezzlement. Rojas, meanwhile, claimed Chahal was pressuring him to hire prostitutes, to secure Adderall and other drugs illegally, and drug women without their knowledge so they wouldn't get pregnant.
Those allegations were dismissed along with the assistant's civil suit, but they were leveled at the same person who admitted in a (now deleted) blog post that he lost his temper when he found out his girlfriend was having unprotected sex with other people for money — which is how we arrived at the domestic abuse case to begin with.
Monday night, a day after news of his termination broke, Chahal again took to his blog to de-cry the media Witch-hunt, basically reinforcing any negative feelings that might have been out there already: "Deep down inside," Chahal writes, "I still did not want to take [the misdemeanor plea] deal since I have two loving sisters, a niece, and mother I love to death. But, I ended up taking one for the team and accepted the DA’s proposal and settling this case." He goes on to quote an email from a fellow board member telling him to "focus on the IPO." RadiumOne has already addressed the quote, claiming it was taken out of context.
Finally, to put one last nail in the story: SFAppeal noted that an account linked to an LA-based PR company has been used to log in from SF-based IP addresses in recent months and scrub all mentions of the domestic violence case from Chahal's Wikipedia page.