Apple whistleblowers were split up because of harassment claims.
In a bizarre legal fight, two former Apple employees are accusing each other of harassment and stalking. They made news last year when they led a whistleblower movement against the company.
Cher Scarlett and Ashley Gjvik helped start a whistleblower campaign called #AppleToo last summer and fall that published stories of sexual harassment, gender and racial discrimination, and other things that happened at the tech company, which is known for being very secretive.
A lot of the hundreds of Apple employees who used #AppleToo to share their stories were not named. Scarlett and Gjvik, both of whom worked for Apple at the time, made a risky move by speaking out in front of the public.
Scarlett mainly talked about pay equity, working from home, and transparency at Apple. Gjvik talked about health issues because an Apple office was built on a Superfund site, as well as Apple’s privacy policies, at the event. Neither of them was alone. Both women said they had been harassed at work.
Scarlett and Gjvik were some of the only faces associated with the campaign, so they gained a lot of followers on social media. The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and New York Times all called #AppleToo the main example of “employee unrest” at Apple that “would have been unthinkable a few years ago.”
However, behind the scenes, Scarlett and Gjvik had a disagreement about stalking, leaking private information, and even working for Apple in a secret way while they were together. Gjvik called Scarlett a “evil witch” and Scarlett got a restraining order against him, court papers show.
She said it was sad that a small disagreement turned into full-scale harassment because the other person didn’t take the time to work things out or just move on and be an adult. The way I see it, there’s no reason this could have happened, and we should all be focusing on holding corporations accountable, not tearing each other down.
Gjvik told the New York Post that she can’t talk about Scarlett’s accusations until 2027 because of a court order, but she says she’s still fighting for justice against Apple.
Apple didn’t answer a question about what they were doing.
Allegations should be leaked to the public
Scarlett and other members of the group had a lot of disagreements with Gjvik soon after #AppleToo started last summer, but they didn’t say anything about it. In Scarlett’s words, Gjvik used the stories of people who had been harmed by Apple to help her own case against the company, not to support “collective action.” Then, Gjvik left the group.
In September, Apple fired Gjvik for allegedly giving away intellectual property to a reporter, which Gjvik denies. Gjvik has filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Labor.
Scarlett, on the other hand, says that before Gjvik was fired, he told a reporter from The Verge that he had leaked information about Apple’s own employees to The Verge in order to write a story about Face ID.
Because Scarlett wrote about Gjvik on the corporate message board Blind and said that it would be hard for Gjvik to say that Apple fired her unfairly because she had leaked intellectual property, she was called out by Gjvik.
Scarlett was then used by Apple lawyers in their defense of Gjvik’s labor complaints, according to Gjvik. Gjvik wrote on Twitter that her former collaborator was “a defense witness for Apple against me.”
“She’s actively communicating with Apple to help them harass, threaten, and frighten their safety whistleblower,” Gjvik said.
The next day, Scarlett apologized to Gjvik for posting about her on Blind. She says that she never worked for Apple as a defense witness and didn’t want to be used in Apple’s defense.
It was the same month that Gjvik was fired from Apple, and Scarlett took a leave from the company because of what she said were threats from colleagues and strangers on the internet. One Blind user “doxxed” Scarlett by posting her contact information and former name, which she had changed years before because of safety concerns.
Scarlett came back to Apple in November, but she said that many of her coworkers still liked the company’s “self-policing” culture and didn’t like her because she didn’t like the company. She reached a deal with Apple and left the company that month.
During the time Scarlett spoke to Slate, she said, “I thought it didn’t get better.” “I thought it got worse.” A force that couldn’t be moved stopped me.
As Scarlett and #AppleToo’s fights with Apple got more attention in the media, Scarlett says that Gjvik was jealous because her whistleblower claims were getting less attention.
“She was on a path to get a lot of attention from the media,” Scarlett said in court in King County, Washington. “But the media kept having trouble confirming her story, which changed over time.” When she read about me in the Washington Post and in the Seattle Times, she became more angry.
Gjvik said that Scarlett had secretly “blacklisted” her by telling reporters not to talk to her, which is why she wasn’t getting more attention in the press.
“A few” unnamed women have been harassing Scarlett, including by changing her Wikipedia page and posting about her online. In December, Scarlett wrote a blog post about them.
All of them thought I had done something wrong, and Scarlett wrote that they thought she was controlling the press. Scarlett made what looked like a thinly veiled jab at Gjvik.
Gjvik said that Scarlett had actually changed Gjvik’s Wikipedia page through fake accounts.
An addict who had been clean for a while wrote that the harassment, along with her fights with Apple, was so upsetting that it caused her to relapse. She said that she had taken a pill that looked like a Percocet but actually had Fentanyl in it, which caused her to go into “cardiac arrest almost right away.”
“I’m alive after two doses of Narcan, eight minutes of CPR, and a defibrillator jolt to my chest,” Scarlett wrote on a GoFundMe page to raise money for legal and medical costs.
Order of Restraining
A few weeks after Scarlett took an overdose, Gjvik posted a series of tweets calling Scarlett a “psycho” and a “evil witch.” Scarlett included screenshots of the tweets in court papers. Gjvik also said that Scarlett was secretly paid by Apple to try to set up a “harassment and defamation campaign” to “try to get me to give up or kill myself.” The screenshots show this.
Scarlett told the FBI about Gjvik the same month, according to her court testimony.
Then, in early February, Gjvik put a “evidence report” about Scarlett on the web. It included parts of Scarlett’s online posts, as well as what Scarlett said was private information about her husband, child, and other family members, and it was all in the article.
Scarlett then went to a court in Washington state and asked for a restraining order.
Scarlett said that Gjvik’s goal is to “destroy me in front of the world.” My child and I are afraid for our safety, as well as for our own well-being. Please help me get over this.
On the other hand, Gjvik claimed in a court filing again that Scarlett was the one who was “persistently attempting to harm, harass,” defame,” intimidate, and coerce” her. When Scarlett asked to be kept away, Gjvik said it was another example of her harassment.
Gjvik was banned from seeing Scarlett for five years on March 1. A judge in King County agreed with Scarlett and gave her a restraining order. He can’t say anything about Scarlett in public, and he can’t get within 1,000 feet of her.
As of August, Gjvik has filed an appeal that will be heard by a judge in Washington state.
A lawyer and Gjvik have already filed an appeal because this order violates Gjvik’s First Amendment rights and because a court in Washington, D.C., did not have the authority to make such an order against an out-of-state person, Gjvik said in a statement.
Scarlett said that she had heard that Ashley was going to fight it in court. “I don’t think another judge will find that there was any mistake in this case.”
As she said, “I would have preferred that none of this was talked about in the news.”