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Tinder Co-Founder Suspended Over Sexual Harassment Claims

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Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images
Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images

The company behind the dating app Tinder suspended Justin Mateen, co-founder and chief marketing officer, after a female former executive filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company on Monday.

Whitney Wolfe, the former vice president of marketing for the popular dating app, claims she was pushed out of the company after facing more than a year of inappropriate comments from Mateen and CEO Sean Rad.

Among the most unsettling claims: Mateen allegedly called Wolfe a "whore" in front of Rad, who ignored her complaints of mistreatment. Mateen and Wolfe were involved in a romantic relationship.

Rad is accused of subjecting Wolfe to a "barrage of horrendously sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails and text messages," according to court documents.

Mateen also allegedly told Wolfe that having a female co-founder “devalues” Tinder and "makes the company seem like a joke." Both co-founders also are accused of using other sexist and racist language against other employees, such as “liberal lying desperate slut” and “middle age Muslim pigs."

The list goes on and on, and you can read the full complaint here. Several of the text messages Wolfe claims Mateen sent can be found in the document.

IAC, which owns Tinder, condemned Mateen in a statement to USAToday, but denied allegations against Rad.

"Immediately upon receipt of the allegations contained in Ms. Wolfe's complaint, Mr. Mateen was suspended pending an ongoing internal investigation," the statement read. "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."

Tinder is the latest tech company to be accused of mistreating female employees. Earlier this year, a former employee at GitHub claimed that she was "bullied into leaving” and subjected to "disgusting" comments from the company's founder. In May, several female employees of tech companies called on Silicon Valley to better address sexism.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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