Goldman Sachs Argues Against Naming Male Executives in Mass Sexual Assault Suit

A sex tape is at the center of the class action gender discrimination suit, yet the company is fighting against naming the alleged perpetrators.

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Goldman Sachs Argues Against Naming Male Executives in Mass Sexual Assault Suit
Photo:Michael M. Santiago (Getty Images)

In what’s being called “Wall Street’s biggest gender suit,” the names of two executives at Goldman Sachs, the male-dominated investment banking company, remain redacted despite sordid allegations from former female employees that detail a range of inappropriate behavior. But sources with “direct knowledge” of the filing revealed to Bloomberg that the two executives are Tucker York, Global Co-Head of Consumer and Wealth Management, and Gary Cohn, the firm’s president before he became a leading economic advisor in the Trump administration.

The class-action sex discrimination lawsuit, which was more heavily redacted until September 22, was first filed in 2014 and includes over 75 instances of alleged sexual misconduct and seven criminal complaints of rape and attempted rape and sexual assault. However, it’s the misogynistic comments and behavior allegedly perpetrated by York and Cohn—whose names are reportedly “blacked out” in the suit—that are currently causing a significant stir. The unnamed plaintiffs in the suit—some 1,400 individuals—have long argued that the names of the perpetrators should be made public. Goldman Sachs, however, has contended that naming the executives is “unfair” and “prejudicial.”

One passage alleges that in 2003, York told his executive assistant she would become a “trophy wife.” Later, she complained about his alleged remarks via a letter after he expressed dissatisfaction with her work. The letter quotes York as reacting to her engagement with the comment, “That ring says you don’t need this job.” Human resources allegedly told the assistant that she should be flattered after she approached them about the matter. Ultimately, she was instructed to find another executive within the firm to work for.

“York is an extraordinary and respected leader at Goldman Sachs with a 36-year track record of demonstrated commitment to the advancement of women at the firm,” the bank’s spokeswoman told Bloomberg. The assistant’s allegation “does not accurately reflect what happened almost 20 years ago and is an incomplete portrayal, as are all the selective disclosures chosen by the plaintiffs.” York, notably, is one of the longest-serving partners at the firm.

Cohn, on the other hand, was accused by an employee of “checking” her out “up and down.” He also allegedly had a reputation for exhibiting inappropriate behavior toward young women, in particular. “The court specifically rejected the plaintiffs’ repeated attempt to publicly identify executives of Goldman Sachs, agreeing that there was little public interest in unsworn hearsay complaints from decades ago and that it would be unfair and prejudicial to those individuals to identify them,” a spokeswoman for the company said in a statement to Bloomberg. “It’s disappointing that Bloomberg failed to respect the reasoning of the court.” York and Cohn did not respond to requests for comment when contacted by Bloomberg.

“It’s interesting to me that they are fighting so hard to keep these names quiet,” Gretchen Carlson, former Fox News anchor and #MeToo whistleblower who’s spoken out about Goldman Sach’s arbitration policy, told Bloomberg.

The company’s arbitration policy has given way to tell-alls, like that of Jamie Fiore Higgins, Goldman Sach’s former managing director, and protracted legal battles, like this one. After years of back-and-forth, the suit will finally go to trial next June.

According to Bloomberg, for the last decade, a singular woman can be counted among the dozen executives that comprise Goldman Sachs leadership. Insert shock here.

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