Former DraftKings SVP of Growth Michael Hermalyn has responded to the lawsuit brought about by his former employer and his version of the story is quite different from the one put forth by the Boston-based company.
“Plaintiff’s motion is long on rhetoric and accusations, but short on facts and evidence,” the response began.
Hermalyn went on to contend that none of the file downloads meticulously detailed in DraftKings’s complaint were done with the intent to steal work product. In addition to providing explanations for most all of the files Hermalyn also claimed he went out of his way to ensure he returned every piece of DraftKings property during his Feb. 1 resignation and, out of an abundance of caution, ceded his phone to his attorney and bought a new personal phone.
Hermalyn addressed the allegations he hid his relationship with a restaurant group the company worked with by arguing several executives were aware of the relationship, including co-founder Matt Kalish, who once asked him for help getting a dinner reservation for him.
“It is based on salacious allegations designed to achieve DraftKings’ public relations objective of imposing maximum damage to Hermalyn’s reputation and livelihood. The lack of merit to DraftKings’ made-for-media hit piece is revealed most plainly in the patchwork of falsehoods, exaggerations, and allegations made ‘upon information and belief’ that DraftKings principally relies on,” the motion continued.
In his personal declaration, Hermalyn said he did not contemplate leaving the organization until last month. According to him, Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin offered him a job on Jan. 27 at a meeting in Pennsylvania.
“When I decided to leave, I knew from past experience with DraftKings that they would likely come after me aggressively and malign me as they have done with others. However, I am shocked and disappointed to see that they would go so far as they have and actually make so many completely false and fabricated accusations against me in court,” he said.
Hermalyn also admitted that, while he did travel to Los Angeles during the time he took off, he did take time off to process the death of a close friend. He also said he wanted to be absent from important planning meetings around the Super Bowl to avoid a potential conflict of interest.
Hermalyn’s own words could impact him in his own lawsuit based in Los Angeles. DraftKings filed a supplementary motion to move the case to federal court introducing the new evidence of the date of Hermalyn’s job offer. That date, Jan. 27, predates the creation of the company Hermalyn’s lawsuit says he is working for. Fanatics VIP, LLC was formed on Jan. 31, which, DraftKings argues is another piece of evidence to support that Hermalyn’s California standing is a legal sham.
The Massachusetts District Court is set to hear DraftKings’s temporary restraining order at 1 pm Thursday. The result will likely be based on whether or not the judge believes the court has the jurisdiction to make a ruling.