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Last year there was a sexual harassment scandal surrounding Chris Avellone, a well-known writer who has worked on video game series, such as Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons Y Dying Light. After a long period of silence believing that he was doing the right thing, Chris Avellone broke the silence, denied having participated in an alleged sexual abuse and revealed that he will proceed legally.
In mid-2020, Karissa Barrows and more young people raised their voices against Avellone and launched multiple accusations of sexual harassment and abuse. The main statements came from Barrows, who accused Avellone of inappropriate sexual behavior and sexual abuse.
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Avellone had raised the issue lightly via Twitter following the allegations. In his defense, Chris Avellone has mentioned that he does not speak to silence the young Karissa and Kelly (another woman involved), but, on the contrary, to make them talk more about what happened.
The developer mentions that other people took Karissa’s statements as true and through repetition made them seem true: “Whether they did it out of malice or ignorance, it does not matter. They are not true,” Avellone said.
Thus, almost 1 year after the original statements were made, the writer has just shared his version of events (so far the most extensive and rich in details of the case) and revealed that he chose to take the legal route after considering the affectations and listening to the “falsehoods” of the young women involved.
What happened in the Avellone case?
The story is a bit long and much of what we will share next is according to Avellone. It all started at a 2012 convention, when Avellone and Karissa met.
Karissa claimed to know who Avellone was at the time, but the writer says that Karissa actually had no idea when she met him, and that she never worked with people she allegedly wronged at these events along with Karissa, Kelly and other people in this case. . Avellone would not only have invited drinks for Karissa, but for everyone in the place.
The event that led to the accusations of harassment and abuse occurred that same night, when, according to Karissa, Avellone and other writers accompanied her to her room where Avellone took the opportunity to kiss her without her consent while she was very intoxicated, a technique that would have similarly applied on other days with other young women during the convention.
Avellone affirmed that he has never violated someone’s consent and explained in his version in great detail that, indeed, they both kissed outside the hotel room of Dragon Con 2012, but with mutual consent and with enthusiasm on both sides.
A year later, Karissa invited Chris Avellone to meet Jackie, a mutual friend. Avellone and Jackie established a romantic relationship (but not courtship, according to Avellone), but 7 years ago it came to an end.
The developer always assured that he did not have a formal relationship with Jackie and warned him that he could not offer her more time due to long hours of work and stress. However, according to Avellone, Jackie communicated something different to her friends, who in their statements said that the two were dating.
After the appearance of problems with Jackie, the relationship became negative and hostile from Karissa towards him, so Avellone decided to stop talking to him.
He later decided to also cut ties with Jackie due to Karissa meddling in Avellone and Jackie’s relationship, apart from the fact that she kept sending him threatening texts. Avellone doesn’t understand why Karissa wished that relationship badly; he attributes to a kind of unhappiness that this provoked in him to such a degree that it prompted him to end the relationship, something to which Avellone finally yielded, with regret, as he refers that there was pain in both Jackie and him.
The developer for these reasons and for the pain it caused Jackie, believed that her friends had made the statements, by way of revenge. He confesses to feeling guilty, not for Karissa’s “falsehoods”, but for leaving Jackie, which is why he even apologized to the young woman again after the statements came to light, a move that he considers wrong today, as this guilt was distorted and served to support Karissa’s false statements.
Avellone revealed inconsistencies in the accusations
Avellone noted that by the end of 2020 Karissa was deleting many posts on Twitter, almost 60,000, after some inconsistencies were found between them and her then recent statements.
The writer also pointed out some irregularities in the accusations of other people, such as that of Christy Dena, who allegedly shared a night with him, when in fact he was on another continent.
In his reply he attached several images with Karissa that were deleted, but which managed to be archived. In one from 2014 (after the alleged abuse of Avellone in 2012) Karissa is even seen to mention that, unlike her friends in the field of cosplay or gaming, she had never suffered sexual harassment.
Likewise, Avellone revealed inconsistencies in Kelly’s statements. According to Avellone, it was difficult to deny this version, due to the type of information, but it was achieved thanks to alleged witnesses that Kelly cited, who confessed to Avellone not knowing anything about it and denied Kelly’s assertions.
Avellone also highlights the inconsistency it would be for a girl to recommend a young man who abused her as a boyfriend: “It’s not something I would do to a friend of mine,” Avellone said.
Avellone asks to repair the damage for damages
As we mentioned, Avellone allowed the affected parties to listen and refers that due to moral damages, he moved away from the Internet and his loved ones supported him, but after almost 1 year he decided to take the legal path. During this period, Avellone gathered more evidence than presented in his long version.
The creative believed that with the way to approach the case he had done the right thing, but then he realized that no, that these attacks were made with “malice” and that he would defend himself.
“When canceling someone, you need to be careful about how much of your life you have shared on social media regarding your allegations … and, if you have shared conflicting information, removing it will not ‘help’ you,” Avellone said.
Thus, Avellone also filed a lawsuit against Karissa, Kelly and other women involved in this case and reaffirms that it does not do so with the intention of silencing the defendants, but rather that they speak more and thus the truth comes out.
In addition to libel, the lawsuit includes charges for loss of employment. Avellone states that these statements also affected him in his working life, because, as we mentioned, almost all the studies with which he worked cut ties with him without having investigated the case, such as Techland or Wild Cat. Even Electronic Arts mentioned that it had no plans to work with Chris Avellone after the allegations, as he took harassment and abuse very seriously.
Avellone indicates that he knew that would work this way, because he knows how companies are with respect to the culture of cancellation on the Internet. According to him, they do their best to distance themselves from these cases, “even if it means turning your back on someone who is being canceled, even someone you have worked with in the trenches for years.” Furthermore, it was a move that occurred over a weekend and the companies did not have time to research it before taking a position.
Avellone anticipated that it would not be the last time we would hear of this case, but that there is much more to come.
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