Tinder CMO Justin Mateen has been suspended by the company he co-founded, after it was sued for sexual harassment and sexual discrimination by its former VP of marketing Whitney Wolfe.
The lawsuit, which was filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, makes a litany of claims against Mateen, including that he called Wolfe a “whore” in front of CEO Sean Rad, and that he subjected her to numerous “sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails, and text messages” during her time at the company.
It also claims that Rad ignored Wolfe’s complaints and fired her after she offered to resign “in consideration for modest severance and the vesting of her stock.”
The suit paints Wolfe as a driving force behind the team’s decision to move on from its previous Cardify product and work on the Tinder app instead. Even so, it claims that her title as co-founder was removed by Rad and Mateen, because she was a 24 year-old “girl” with little experience.
The suit also describes the romantic relationship that Mateen pursued with Wolfe, despite the fact that he was her direct supervisor. When things went sour between them, issues within the organization became even more difficult. After a breakup in December of last year, the suit claims, Mateen told Wolfe to stay away from other men for a period of six months.
Tinder may question some of the claims made in the complaint, but it can’t really dismiss the inappropriateness of the texts from Mateen that are included as evidence in the lawsuit.
As a result, it has suspended Mateen. Tinder issued the following statement explaining why:
Immediately upon receipt of the allegations contained in Ms. Wolfe’s complaint, Mr. Mateen was suspended pending an ongoing internal investigation. 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.