Court Docs Allege Gearbox President Randy Pitchford USB Stick Contained Child Porn
Borderlands Tiny Tina

Gearbox Software president, Randy Pitchford, is caught up in a legal row with a former employee. Recent documents have dropped that detail some salacious events, however, including a USB stick that allegedly had a collection of underage porn on it.

Journalist Nick Monroe posted up a Twitter thread on January 11th, 2019 going through court documents that have been made available over on Scribd.com, which outlines the fallout between former Gearbox counsel Wade Callender and Gearbox president Randy Pitchford. The court case is a messy one and is actually a counter-suit in retaliation of Gearbox suing Callender for fraud and fiduciary duty.

Callender’s counter-suit is filled with damning information, mostly in relation to Pitchford’s mismanagement of funds, throwing lavish parties, and a private USB drive that was supposed to be filled with confidential corporate business partnerships and information, but also allegedly contained a collection of child pornography.

On page 9 of the court documents, it recounts a story about how Pitchford left a USB drive at a restaurant in Texas and a good Samaritan went out of their way to retrieve it and return it to Pitchford after discovering that it contained sensitive information relating to business transactions and deals for Gearbox. At the time, Pitchford and Callender were in San Francisco, California. Callender ordered a copy be made of the USB drive just in case, but the court documents allege that Pitchford intervened.

The documents state…

“Pending his return to Texas, Callender instructed Gearbox personnel in Texas to make a copy of the USB drive to ensure that its contents could be verified and, if necessary, acted upon. Before Callender could review the USB drive contents, Pitchford intervened, by retrieving the lost USB drive himself and ordering Gearbox personnel to destroy the copy that Callender requested.

 

“On information and belief, Randy Pitchford’s USB drive contained much more than the sensitive corporate documents of Gearbox and business partners like Take-Two Interactive, 2K Games, Sega, Microsoft, Sony, etc. Upon information and belief, Randy Pitchford’s USB drive also contained Randy Pitchford’s personal collection of “underage” pornography.”

It’s not detailed how the information was retrieved that there was underage pornography on the USB stick, nor does it say if other employees had taken a look at the contents of the USB drive, or how many employees knew about the contents on the drive. It’s also not explained if the person tasked with making a copy of the USB drive relayed any of the information to them about the contents.

In an Ars Technica story, they reported that on December 22nd, 2018 there was a podcast published by the Piff Pod. Ars Technica quoted Pitchford’s statements from the pod, where he allegedly discussed what the “porn” was on the USB stick, a day after Callender had initially filed the court documents, stating…

“It’s a woman who is masturbating, and when she has some experience that appears as if she’s having an orgasm, a huge amount of fluid comes out of her vagina.”

 

“This is not a sex worker—this is a fucking magician.” […] [The video was put on the USB stick and] “Some kid, an employee of the Medieval Times, discovered this memory stick, took it home, and accessed it because it was before we were password-protecting, and discovered secrets of my company and future games in development, and also discovered the pornography. And it was barely legal porn. This girl’s handle was ‘Only 18.’”

 

Regardless of what happened with the USB stick, the shenanigans outlined in the court documents don’t end there.

They also reveal that apparently Pitchford held lavish parties at his house hosted by him and his wife, and that a lot of the money that was supposed to be used toward the development of games was instead siphoned into Pitchford’s obsession with entertaining people at garish events, including what was called “Peacock Parties” in the court documents.

On page 10, the documents briefly explain what took place at these parties, stating…

“On information and belief, Pitchford’s USB drive experience wasn’t enough to deter Randy Pitchford’s mischief, as Pitchford subsequently syphoned Gearbox profits to fund parties thrown by Pitchford and his wife at their home for their own personal benefit. At these events—which Pitchford and his wife affectionately term “Peacock Parties”—adult men have reportedly exposed themselves to minors, to the amusement of Randy Pitchford.”

The documents are filled with such similar stories of backdoor deals, constant partying, and superfluous spending.

The voice actor for Claptrap and the head of game publishing at Rooster Teeth, David Eddings, posted a cryptic tweet right after the documents and news stories went public, stating the following.

He has not elaborated on what is true… yet.

Kotaku did reach out to Gearbox for the story they published on January 11th, 2019, and a Gearbox representative did respond regarding the allegations, stating…

“The allegations made by a disgruntled former employee are absurd, with no basis in reality or law. We look forward to addressing this meritless lawsuit in court and have no further comment at this time.”

Interestingly enough, the company also issued a second statement to Kotaku, specifically in regard to the allegations about the USB stick containing child pornography.

In the statement, they claim that Callender’s claims in the documents are “knowingly false” and that they will be taking action against him for “false statements”…

“Gearbox will be filing a grievance with the State Bar of Texas against our former general counsel Wade for disciplinary proceedings for filing a lawsuit that includes accusations that he knows to be untrue. The lawyer’s rules of professional conduct expressly prohibit the filing of documents that are knowingly false. The tell is within Wade’s claim itself – his use of hedged lawyer language and clever application of quotation marks betray that he knows that the impression he is trying to create is based in lies. We imagine that he used the quotation marks and lawyer language in hopes that will give him some angles of defense when we inevitably take action against him for false statements. Wade is engaged in a shakedown and he’s clearly using deceit and lies to try to cause damage by promoting a narrative that he knows is false.”

[Update:] It was also reported that the rep for Pitchford denied that “Peacock parties” was mentioned, but Nick Monroe points to an article from Guide Live published on June 3rd, 2016 from Briton Peele that explicitly points out that Pitchford does have what’s called a Peacock Theater in his house, and in tweets published on September 28th, 2018, Pitchford himself mentions hosting gatherings at the theater.

Now to be fair, Pitchford doesn’t necessarily call these gatherings a “Peacock Party” but the suggestion of a party is implied.

Other Gearbox employees seem to be staying mum on the subject as far as the allegations are concerned, only Eddings came out to say that it was “true”.

Pitchford, however, did fire back via various tweets on January 11th, 2019, claiming his innocence and that the claims in the court documents were lies.

(Thanks for the news tip Bobby Albert)

About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!