Following allegations of sexual and fiscal misconduct, video game writer Chris Avellone filed libel lawsuits in California, Illinois, and Oklahoma against his accusers. Those lawsuits have come to a close with the parties reaching a settlement agreement and issuing a joint statement retracting all the allegations levied against the Fallout: New Vegas writer.
In 2021, Avellone was subjected to a series of allegations accusing him of sexual misconduct and misappropriating corporate funds. Among these allegations include those contained in a tweet from Karissa Barrows, which accused Avellone of being abusive and attempting to sexually assault her after getting her black-out drunk. Following these allegations, Avellone was let go from his position as a writer for Dying Light 2, and he became blacklisted by the industry. Avellone filed federal lawsuits for libel and slander against Barrows and Kelly Bristol, alleging that Barrows’ statements were “an attempt to seek revenge on Plaintiff Chris Avellone by making false statements about Avellone to destroy Avellone’s reputation and career.”
On March 10, 2023, the parties informed the court that they had reached a settlement and requested a sixty-day stay of proceedings to finalize. On March 24, 2023, Avellone, Bristol, and Barrows issued a joint statement indicating that they had reached a confidential settlement agreement dismissing all claims with prejudice, a seven-figure settlement payment including reimbursement for Avellone’s attorney fees, and a signed statement from Defendants Bristol and Barrows renouncing any allegations of misconduct against Avellone.
The statement indicates that Bristol and Barrows had, “no knowledge” whether Mr. Avellone had ever “sexually abused any women” or “misused corporate funds”, and concludes with an assertion that they believe Avellone deserves a “full return to the industry.” For his part, Avellone commends Barrows’ and Bristol’s advocacy, and he remains committed to facing the “very real challenges” in the industry and concludes with a request to “respect the privacy of Ms. Barrows and Ms. Bristol and use this opportunity as a means to listen to all voices in improving our culture and our communities.” The confidential settlement and the joint statement speak only to what transpired between Avellone, Bristol, and Barrows, and are not indicative of wider patterns within the video game industry.
Avellone agrees in his statement that there are very real issues of abuse targeted at women in the industry and that he commends Barrows and Bristol’s advocacy.
Source: Chris Avellone/Medium