The CEO of Metaverse company Everyrealm is being sued by a former NFL player
A former NFL player is suing the CEO of a Metaverse company, alleging she pressured him to play “sexually harassing games” and discriminated against him because he’s black.
Teyo Johnson, a former tight end for the Oakland Raiders, filed a lawsuit against Everyrealm CEO Janine Yorio in August, alleging that she runs a toxic work environment.
He alleges in an amended lawsuit received by DailyMail.com that Yorio pushed him into “sexually harassing games” that encouraged colleagues and customers to sleep together.
Lawyers for Metaverse — which develops and sells virtual real estate — have vehemently denied those allegations, instead claiming that Johnson made the inappropriate comments in his New York offices.
Teyo Johnson, a former tight end for the Oakland Raiders, filed a lawsuit against Everyrealm and its CEO Janine Yario in August
He alleges in recent court documents that Yorio (pictured) pushed him into “sexually harassing games” to sleep with co-workers and clients
But Johnson’s lawsuit is just one of three lawsuits against the virtual reality company that have accused Yorio of sexually harassing black employees and subjecting them to racist language — once even threatening to “swap” Johnson if he gave his work not done.
Together they are seeking $1.9 million in damages from the Andreessen Horowitz-backed company that “invests in and develops virtual worlds.”
In his lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court, Johnson alleges that Yorio encouraged him to play a “sex-related game” during a business trip to SXSW festival in August.
According to the lawsuit, Yorio used the euphemisms “KYP,” meaning “know your staff,” and “KYC,” meaning “know your customer,” to mean “having sex or meeting with your colleagues and business associates.”
She reportedly told Johnson, who served as the company’s director of strategic partnerships, that “the way to play the game” is “to get laid by a colleague on a business trip.”
Johnson also claims he was unfairly fired after refereeing a potentially illegal gambling project
Yorio is then accused of asking him if he would “do a KYP” on the trip, which stunned Johnson, the suit says.
“In other words, Ms. Yorio has asked Mr. Johnson if he plans to have sex or meet with colleagues during SXSW and indicated that it is strongly encouraged.”
He said he “politely informed her that he was “already very close with someone.”
But later that evening, Johnson claimed Yorio went to his Austin hotel room and “indicated in no uncertain terms that she believed he was “cheating” on his girlfriend in order to “enter the company’s KYP game.”
“It was apparent to him that Ms. Yorio, the CEO of his new employer, who had told him during his interview that he was “more than just a pretty face,” was improperly “testing the water” with him,” the lawsuit said .
“For Mr. Johnson, he and Ms. Yorio were colleagues and nothing more,” it continues, noting that he was her subordinate.
The lawsuit also alleges that Yorio made offensive jokes about Johnson’s girlfriend’s menstrual cycle, calling him both the “stupid black person” and the “whitest black person.”
She also reportedly called him a “D***,” a “big swinging D***,” and a “f****** D***.”
And the lawsuit alleges that William Kerr, the company’s general counsel, once called Paris Hilton — an Everyrealm investor pictured with Yorio at past events — a “night in Paris,” the revenge porn video’s title leaked to the internet in the year 2004.
Johnson, whose job required managing celebrity accounts like Hilton’s, is said to have been horrified that he had to listen to the derogatory comments and nicknames to carry out his job duties.
DailyMail.com has reached out to lawyers for the Metaverse company, as well as Paris Hilton’s agent, for comment.
The lawsuit also alleges that an attorney for Everyrealm made disparaging remarks about Paris Hilton, an investor who has been pictured with Yorio in the past
Johnson was hired by the company in July 2022, saying Yorio told then-head of human resources Kathy Yost, “Teyo is the whitest black guy I’ve ever met,” only to later insist she “meant well.” have. Yost also recounted the interaction in her own lawsuit.
Soon after, Johnson says, he learned that he was the lowest-paid director at the company, earning a base salary of $125,000 and a $40,000 discretionary bonus.
Then, while holding a successful partnership meeting with LeBron James’ entertainment company Spring Hills, Yorio reportedly told Johnson, “[You’re] Lucky it went well, now I don’t have to trade you in.”
Eventually, claims Johnson He was fired in retaliation for refereeing a potentially illegal cryptocurrency “gambling scheme” involving NFT playing cards used by professional soccer players.
According to the lawsuit filed in August, the scheme involved “a cryptocurrency version of fantasy sports where users would buy packs of NFTs representing professional soccer player cards.”
It explains, “Users would enter cryptocurrencies into a pool and then win prize money if their NFT playing cards performed better than other players’ NFTs.
But, according to the lawsuit, Everyrealm did not have a gaming license in New York — where it is based, and “reasonably believed” that the game would “violate numerous New York and federal laws” because “the card games would be randomized… to qualify as gambling and thus be illegal.’
After raising his concerns to his superiors and the NFT project was scrapped, it claims Yorio was “mad” at Johnson and he ended up in their “dog kennel”.
In the aftermath, the lawsuit alleges, his proposal to establish a relationship between Everyrealm and NFL.com was sabotaged by Yorio and other executives.
Johnson said he met with NFL.com executives to partner and created a project plan with a request to have 3D graphics designed for the proposal.
Board member Julia Schwartz asked to be “kept in the toilet[‘ in the aftermath, and said she wanted to write the proposal herself, according to the suit.
‘However, it became clear within a couple of days that not only had Ms. Schwartz not started writing the proposal, but she was secretly preventing anyone in her department from providing Mr. Johnson with the 3D graphics he had requested,’ the suit states.
Under pressure to get the proposal completed, it says, Johnson decided to write the proposal himself and included a skybox meeting place Yorio had proposed in which fans of each NFL team could meet virtually with the players.
But when he handed it to Yorio, the suit claims, she refused to send the proposal back to NFL.com, telling Johnson: ‘We don’t need to be detailed in what we can build out, we need to be vague.’
Everyrealm is a virtual reality real estate company that ‘invests in and develops virtual worlds’
A spokesperson for the company has now vehemently denied the allegations in a statement to DailyMail.com calling them ‘lies.’
‘As we have stated in our court filings, this employee worked at the company for only three months and was terminated for poor performance, expense account abuse and falling asleep on the job.’
The company also alleges in court documents that Johnson ‘openly and routinely disparaged the mother of his child and demanded that Everyrealm pay a portion of his wages in cash to avoid garnishment for his child support payments.’
Company executives refused his demand, they claim.
‘Johnson made various inappropriate comments in the workplace regarding other women in his life, hazed a junior female employee by disparaging her as a “rookie” and refusing to meet with her,’ lawyers for the company write in court documents.
They also said Johnson referred to Schwartz, a cofounder at the company as ‘that b****’ and Yorio as ‘that crazy b****.’
The lawyers further write in a Motion to Dismiss that Johnson’s original claim that he was ‘discharged “solely on account of his race” has been cast aside in an effort to avoid arbitration.
‘Aside from his failure to plead a sexual harassment claim, the evidence will show that it was Johnson who encouraged discussions regarding sexuality and promiscuity.’
But Johnson is not the only former employee to make these types of allegations against Everyrealm and its executives.
Former employees Gatsby Frimpong, left, and Kathy Yost, right, have also filed lawsuits against Yario and other executives at Everyrealm
Another African American former employee, Gatsby Frimpong, alleged in a suit filed last week in Manhattan federal court that he was paid less than a white engineering director was for similar work.
He also claims Yario refused to consider him for promotion after he rejected her sexual advances, and once told him at a meeting about engineering and product that ‘it is important [that he ] Get the customer wet, just like [he] would do with a woman.’
She reportedly asked him if he was in a relationship, and on another occasion said she and her husband Jesse, whom she hired to work at the company, were “only married in the Metaverse.”
A company spokesman said the allegations set out in his lawsuit were “preposterous,” claiming he “worked remotely and Ms. Yario only interacted with him a couple of times on video calls.”
Meanwhile, Kathy Yost, 46, who claims to have known Yario in high school and landed a job as a human resources officer after Yario posted about the vacancy online, is also suing the company for “discriminatory and illegal policies and actions,” including ‘sexually suggestive acts’, sues remarks about life and orientation of colleagues.’
She alleges in her lawsuit, filed in August, that she confided in Yario that she “suffered from an alcohol use disorder” in hopes that “Mrs. Yario would be her ally and would help divert attention from the fact that Ms. Yost does not drink at company meetings.”
But Yario allegedly used “this highly personal and confidential information to taunt Ms. Yost in front of” staff by telling them at an event, “We need to get Kathy SIX drinks!”
Yost also alleges that executives did not accept that she was a single mother, “openly bisexual, disabled, and refused to sanction Everyrealm’s discriminatory and illegal policies and actions.”
Her lawsuit says she was fired just a day after informing her supervisors that “she failed to comply with her patently illegal, retaliatory and discriminatory HR policies that made women and other protected groups second-class employees at Everyrealm.”
It is said that while working at the company, Yost noticed that employees who questioned the identity of Everyrealm’s Metaflower Super Mega Yacht NFT were fired.
And according to her suit, Yario would refer to one employee with autism as the “team mascot” and another with ADHD as “idiot” and “idiot.”
Still, the spokesman says, “These are nothing more than baseless allegations from a disgruntled former employee who is trying to harm our company.”
He added that the company will defend itself against the “false allegations” being made by “former employees seeking multimillion-dollar severance payments.”
“Our company works hard to promote a supportive, inclusive workplace and we will continue to defend ourselves against these lawsuits.”
The company has since filed its own lawsuits against the plaintiffs in an attempt to settle the claims and have them arbitrated.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11592551/CEO-metaverse-company-Everyrealm-sued-ex-NFL-player.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The CEO of Metaverse company Everyrealm is being sued by a former NFL player