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My coworker terrorized me. When I told Apple, I was punished.
Our latest Lioness story.
A Lioness story out today, by Apple employee Jayna Whitt:
After my 15 years as a high-performing patent lawyer for Apple, the company prioritized a gun-toting colleague over my physical safety.
The first time Ted pushed me, it took me by surprise. He apologized, but this became the first of many violent outbursts that he’d then use mental disorders, suicidal tendencies, and substance abuse to excuse. Unfortunately, I was primed for this, having family members who struggled with mental illness. I would never abandon them in a time of need—and I felt the same toward him.
When I joined Apple as a patent attorney in 2006, I was the main income earner in my marriage, as my husband's income from running a small business was low and sporadic (we've been separated since 2016 but are still in litigation, primarily over his alimony claims). I didn't even own an iPod, but a trusted former colleague recruited me. My son was only three months old and my daughter was a toddler, and the move cut my commute in half.
The iPhone was launched the following year, bringing on massive litigation; the company's patent cases soon went from less than 10 to more than 150. In 2010, I became the Head of Patent Litigation and was compensated commensurate with the job's stress level. I soon found myself making over $1 million a year. I didn't come from money, so being able to provide for my family felt like a huge accomplishment. But all the required travel took a toll. With my marriage and home life suffering, I changed positions (partly to reduce the travel) in 2012 to become the Director of IP Transactions.
I met Ted (not his real name) at Apple, where he is also an attorney. His backstory was remarkable, but like many things about him, I now wonder whether it was true. He presented a history of pulling himself up by the bootstraps, ascending from a poor family to graduate from a top-tier law school, earning the praise of senior leaders along the way. He is charismatic, charming, and attractive—with a hidden dark side.
(Read the rest of the story here.)