Money Matters - Simplified

Actress Jodie Fisher at centre of HP's 'sexual harassment' scandal

In a statement released by her attorney, Gloria Allred, Fisher said, "I was surprised and saddened that Mark Hurd lost his job over this. That was never my intention."

The identity of the woman at the centre of the Mark Hurd sexual harassment scandal has been revealed. She is a 50-year-old marketing consultant and sometime actress, Jodie Fisher, as reported by several published reports.

Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Mark Hurd resigned unexpectedly Friday after an investigation found he violated company’s standards of business conduct by submitting inaccurate expense reports and concealing his personal relationship with the woman.

Hurd’s ouster
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company launched an internal investigation after the hardware giant said one of its former contractors, involved in company’s marketing activities between 2007 and 2009, had levied sexual harassment allegations at 53-year-old Hurd, who is married.

On Sunday, the female contractor, whose sexual harassment accusation against Hurd led to his ouster as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, came forward saying she never intended for Hurd to lose his job.

After the probe, the HP officials found that Hurd had not violated its sexual harassment policy, but that he had breached standards of conduct policy.

Contractor steps forward
On Sunday, the female contractor whose sexual harassment accusation against Hurd led to his ouster as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard came forward, saying she never intended for Hurd to lose his job.

Fisher, a former actress who appeared in a handful of steamy films and a short-lived NBC reality TV show in 2007 and who had been employed as a contractor for HP working on customer and executive events, said she never intended for Hurd to lose his job over the matter, reports Reuters.

Saddened by Hurd’s exit
In a statement released by her attorney, Gloria Allred, Fisher said, "I was surprised and saddened that Mark Hurd lost his job over this. That was never my intention."

She also reiterated Hurd's claims that there had never been a sexual relationship between them, according to the publication.

"Mark and I never had an affair or intimate sexual relationship," AFP quoted Fisher as saying in the statement. “I first met Mark in 2007 when I interviewed for a contractor job at the company.”

"At HP, I was under contract to work at high-level customer and executive summit events held around the country and abroad. I prepared for those events, worked very hard and enjoyed working for HP," she added.

"I wish Mark, his family and HP the best," Fisher concluded.

Meanwhile, several tabloid reports are emerging with claims that Hurd has settled the sexual harassment case with the female contractor.

Reaches settlement with accuser
Although the terms of the settlement are not known, but according to the Wall Street Journal, Hurd, not HP, paid the settlement.

"I have resolved my claim with Mark privately, without litigation," AFP quoted Fisher as saying said in a statement released by her lawyer.

Who is the female contractor?
According to Allred, Fisher is a single mother focused on raising her young son. She has a degree in political science from Texas Tech. She has worked in sales for a Fortune 500 company, and was recently the vice president of a commercial real estate company.

Fisher is also a sometime actress who appeared in minor films, some described by Allred as R-rated. Citing the Internet Movie Database, Mercury News says her films include 1992’s 'Intimate Obsession,' 'Easy Rider -- The Ride Back,' 'Blood Dolls,' 'The Outsider,' 'Sheer Passion' and the unrated 'Body of Influence 2.'

Most recently, she starred in the 2007 NBC reality show series 'Age of Love,' in which beauties in their 20s, referred to as 'kittens,' competed with ones in their 30s and 40s, so-called cougars, for the attention of the then 30-year-old tennis star Mark Philippoussis.