Uber & Rape Victim’s Medical Records
On a Saturday night in September of 2013 a woman named Bridget Todd in Washington, DC tweeted at Uber that she’d just been choked by her driver who was apparently angry at her interracial relationship. Todd was a writer, activist and former lecturer at Howard University.
Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, emailed his PR team on how to respond. Screen shots of his emails were published in ValleyWag.
Here’s what Kalanick said: “These writers are starting to think that we are somehow liable for these incidents that aren’t even real in the first place.”
The notion that Kalanick somehow didn’t believe the incident was real was much noted in the media. Why wouldn’t it be real? Set thousands of drivers in motion to ferry tens of thousands of passengers and things are going to happen.
This same paranoid idea is at the heart of Recode’s report this week that Uber executive, Eric Alexander, acquired, retained and shared the medical records of a woman passenger in India raped by her Uber driver in 2014.
Alexander reportedly shared the victim’s medical records with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and his hatchet man, Emil Michael. According to Recode: “some top executives apparently had trouble believing the incident was entirely true…”
Sound familiar? Kalanick, and now his team of A-minions, did not believe the passenger’s rape was real. Reportedly, they were convinced that Uber’s biggest competitor in India, Ola, staged the incident to sabotage Uber’s business. Kalanick and Alexander studied the victim’s medical records and schemed how to use them against her claim.
Playing both doctor and saboteur.
It’s unclear whether Alexander obtained the records “of his own volition or was directed to do so,” according to Recode. But we know for sure that months earlier Kalanick had expressed his belief that these incidents “aren’t even real in the first place.”
It’s right there in a screen shot of his email.
Alexander—who actually accessed and retained the victim’s medical records—has been summarily fired. But the Uber boss who months earlier evinced similar doubt about the validity of “these incidents”?