McDonald's former CEO sent himself sexually explicit photos and videos of 3 employees via his company email, a new lawsuit from the fast-food giant claims

McDonald's former CEO sent himself sexually explicit photos and videos of 3 employees via his company email, a new lawsuit from the fast-food giant claims
McDonald's ex-CEO, Steve Easterbrook resigned in November 2019.Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • McDonald's filed a lawsuit on Monday against its former CEO, Steve Easterbrook, for conducting sexual relationships with three employees and lying about it while under investigation.
  • McDonald's says that Easterbrook used his company email account to send himself "dozens of nude, partially nude, or sexually explicit photographs and videos of various women."
  • The lawsuit also states that Easterbrook granted one employee hundreds of thousands in restricted stock after two sexual encounters.
  • McDonald's said that had it known about the true extent of Easterbrook's conduct, it would never have agreed to let him resign, and instead would have terminated him.
A new lawsuit filed by McDonald's says that former CEO Steve Easterbrook used his corporate email to send himself sexual photographs and videos of three employees taken in 2018 and 2019.

The lawsuit, filed on Monday in the state of Delaware, states that Easterbrook lied about and attempted to hide evidence of his affairs with three employees, deleting emails containing "dozens of nude, partially nude, or sexually explicit photographs and videos of various women" from his company phone while under investigation in 2019.

The emails also show that Easterbrook granted "hundreds of thousands of dollars" worth of restricted stock units to one employee shortly after two sexual encounters, according to the complaint.

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Unknown to Easterbrook, the emails in question were not deleted from McDonald's company servers – and were later discovered in July 2020 following an anonymous tip. McDonald's says the photographs are "undisputable evidence" that Easterbrook repeatedly violated and lied about violating company policy.

"Easterbrook's silence and lies — a clear breach of the duty of candor — were calculated to induce the Company to separate him on terms much more favorable to him than those the Company would have offered and agreed to had it known the full truth of his behavior," the lawsuit reads.

McDonald's says that had it known of the extent of Easterbrook's conduct, it would have "terminated Easterbrook for cause" instead of allowing him to resign.

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Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Easterbrook used corporate email to exhange sexually explicit photos with employees. He only utilized his corporate email to send images to his personal email account.

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