By Sarah McBride and Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A California jury on Friday cleared venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers of gender discrimination claims brought against it by a woman former partner, in a trial that transfixed Silicon Valley. After further deliberation, the jury also cleared Kleiner on a claim that the firm had retaliated against the former partner, Ellen Pao, by terminating her employment after she sued in 2012. Despite days of courtroom drama about affairs, books of erotic poetry and office flirting, juror Steve Sammut, who mostly voted for Kleiner, said the decision came down to Pao's effectiveness at her job. The verdict dashed Pao's hopes for personal vindication, but the trial revealed embarrassing disclosures about how Pao and other women were treated at Kleiner and Silicon Valley's corporate culture and its lack of diversity.
At a press conference announcing the findings of an investigation into a racist chant that prompted the shuttering of Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s Oklahoma University chapter and the expulsion of two fraternity members, OU President David Boren saluted the student activists of Unheard, who first brought the now widely viewed SAE video to light.
By Sarah McBride and Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A California jury on Friday cleared venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers of gender discrimination claims brought against it by a woman former partner in a trial that transfixed Silicon Valley. The jury also said it had cleared Kleiner on a claim that the firm had retaliated against former partner Ellen Pao by "teminating" her employment after she sued in 2012. At least nine jurors must agree to reach a verdict, the judge in California Superior Court said, sending jurors back for more deliberations. It is "extremely unlikely" that the judge would dismiss the decision on gender discrimination regardless of what happens on the retaliation claim, said San Francisco employment attorney Mark Schickman, who mostly represents companies, and was not involved in the Pao litigation.
Two more women came forward on Friday accusing veteran comedian Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them decades ago, when they were in their teens. Sunni Welles and Margie Shapiro joined the more than three dozen women who have accused the 77-year-old comedian of sexual assault, reading statements alongside celebrity attorney Gloria Allred. He was Bill Cosby and I buried it in my memory until all of these brave women began to come forward," said Welles, who sobbed during her statement. Best known for his "America's Dad" persona Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-rated "Cosby Show," Cosby has never been charged over any of the allegations.
By Kevin Murphy KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Reuters) - A Missouri white supremacist is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday afternoon on charges that he fatally shot three people outside two Jewish centers in a Kansas City suburb last April. Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 74, is expected to enter a plea to three charges of capital murder and three charges of attempted murder in a shooting spree April 13 in Overland Park, Kansas. Cross, a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan who had expressed a hatred for Jews, could face the death penalty if convicted on the capital murder charges.