A former Google lawyer has described having an affair with the company’s chief legal officer which resulted in them having a child.
In a scathing Medium post on Wednesday, Jennifer Blakely, 54, claimed to have started her relationship with David Drummond, 56, the chief legal officer for Alphabet (of which Google is a subsidiary) in California in 2004.
She says that while she and other staffers knew he was married, they had never met his wife, Elena Marimo Berk, who he started a UNICEF fund with and shares an autistic son with.
Blakely claims that they began their own romantic relationship after being told by Drummond that he and Berk were estranged.
Jennifer Blakely, 54, claimed to have started her relationship with David Drummond, 56, in 2004. They had their son in 2007, when he was still legally married
In the blog post, she describes how he rented a W hotel suite for an ‘after party’ after a birthday celebration he threw for her where he told her he wanted more children.
She fell pregnant ‘for the first time’ in 2005 but miscarried three months later, she said.
In 2007, she gave birth to their son.
Drummond was still married but, she said, had promised her he was about to get a divorce.
The pair never told work that they were expecting but, after the birth of their child, Blakely claims she received a call from HR notifying her that one of them would have to leave the legal department.
Their relationship was against the company’s then newly-instated policy which forbids romantic relationships between employees and their direct line manager.
By the time Blakely received the call, Drummond had ascended to become the company’s Chief Legal Officer.
She decided to transfer into the sales department, despite having no experience in it, and says she struggled in her job as a result. Blakely says she quit, having become depressed at work.
David Drummon, pictured with his wife, Elena Marimo Berek. They have an autistic son together. According to Blakely, Drummond told her he wanted more children in 2004. Drummond and Berek are shown with an unidentified child
She started relying on Drummond financially but, she says, thought they were in a committed relationship because he had ‘moved in’ with her and her son.
‘I felt confident that he loved us and would protect us and so I quit Google, signing whatever documents they required because likewise, I wanted to protect him,’ she wrote.
The pair carried on living together and, in 2008, Blakely says they attended a dinner with other Google executives in Palo Alto when she went home to tend to their sick son.
She claims that night, another Google employee phoned her to tell her Drummond had vanished with two female legal associates and had taken them to San Francisco for the night.
‘Don’t expect me back. I’m never coming back.’
How Drummond allegedly broke up with Blakely over text
She says she texted him, asking what time he would be home, and he allegedly replied: ‘Don’t expect me back. I’m never coming back.’
Blakely claims that was the end of their relationship.
‘”Hell” does not begin to capture my life since that day. I’ve spent the last 11 years taking on one of the most powerful, ruthless lawyers in the world. From that fateful night forward, David did things exclusively on his terms.
‘Having no job, no recourse, I didn’t have a leg to stand on.
‘David would go for months or even years at a time completely ignoring my pleas to see his son — not even so much as a text to us, despite living about a mile away,’ she wrote.
Blakely claims he then tried to take their son out of her care and have him be raised by him and his estranged wife, despite them living in separate homes.
She says the pair settled their custody and child support dispute in 2011.
Drummond, in the meantime, had ‘affairs’ with his assistant at Google and another woman who Blakely had worked with, she claimed.
I lived through it first hand and I believe a company’s culture, its behavioral patterns, start at the top. Rarely do we hear about what happens to women after they are forced out of their jobs but I can tell you what happened to me
She claims that ‘for years’, he would ignore her pleas to see their son, only visiting him at Blakely’s home ‘on his terms’.
She alleges that during one of this visits in 2014, he compared himself to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, whose promiscuity has been well-documented, and said that like him, it was his ‘privilege’ to live how he wanted to, with his ‘personal life’ remaining off-limits to her.
Blakely did not share her story, even when she was contacted by ‘several reporters’ amid the #MeToo frenzy, she said.
She now says Drummond’s treatment of her was enabled by Google.
‘I lived through it first hand and I believe a company’s culture, its behavioral patterns, start at the top. Rarely do we hear about what happens to women after they are forced out of their jobs but I can tell you what happened to me,’ she wrote.
Drummond and his wife settled their divorce last October. He filed in 2017.
The pair were photographed at public events together for years after Blakely says she began her affair.
Google did not immediately comment on her claims on Thursday.
Blakely previously told her story in a New York Times article which described a pervasive culture of double standards at the company.
It inspired 20,000 employees to walk out of the company last year.
Drummond made $48million last year at Google despite the allegations. While his salary is $650,000, he takes home in millions in stock awards every year.