I was suspicious (just because I’m always suspicious of good stories), but ultimately I was fooled. This Seattle CEO, Dan Price, was doing wonderful things — he slashed his own salary to $70,000, he gave all his employees a uniform raise to $70,000, he seemed to be doing all the right stuff to be a fair and just employer.
Of course it all fell apart. It turns out he was an egotistical glory hound who was doing it all to get laudatory tweets and followers. “He is definitely obsessed with how seemingly you can just become famous,” And women. He wanted lots of women. He divorced his wife.
Mr. Price told media outlets that his divorce several years earlier was amicable. But his former wife, Kristie Colón, had given a TEDx talk in October 2015 in which she described their relationship as abusive.
“He got mad at me for ignoring him and grabbed me and shook me again,” Ms. Colón read from her old journal. “He started punching me in the stomach and slapped me across the face.” She recalled once locking herself in a car, “afraid he was going to body-slam me into the ground again or waterboard me in our upstairs bathroom like he had done before.”
His activities on the dating scene were less than savory.
Mr. Price messaged Serena Jowers, a fitness coach near Seattle, in December 2020, after she liked some of his posts on Instagram. On their third date, Ms. Jowers said, he pulled up videos on Pornhub, to show her what he liked. After she resisted watching pornography, he pressured her into having sex, she said. She realized he was touching her with only one hand, then saw him holding his phone. He was recording them.
Ms. Jowers jumped up and grabbed the nearest blanket, yelled at him, and fled, she said. The next morning she texted him, saying the filming made her feel like she was not in control of her own body. “I want you to delete any video/pics you took,” she wrote.
“I’ll do that,” he immediately texted back. Three other women, two of whom he also first messaged on social media, also told me that they learned Mr. Price secretly filmed them.
Porn sites are not a good place to learn about sex, and surreptitiously recording an encounter is more than a red flag. Then there were multiple other reports.
In January, they had dinner at a restaurant in Seattle’s Capitol Hill, where she said they discussed politics. What happened next was detailed in interviews, a police report and text messages.
As the restaurant closed, her Uber app wasn’t working, and Mr. Price suggested they stay warm in his Tesla as she downloaded it again.
Sitting in the front seats, he tried to kiss her and grabbed her throat, she told the police.
“He did not let go of my throat right away,” she recalled.
“After I rejected him,” she said, “he transformed.”
Ms. Hayne called her boyfriend, pretending he was her brother, and asked him to rush and get her. Mr. Price sped north, driving her to a Park N Ride.
She was scared because he was “very drunk,” the police report said.
“Hurryyyyyyy,” she texted her boyfriend.
Mr. Price raced up to the top floor of the parking lot, drove the car in doughnut circles and pulled into a spot, she told the police. He reached over to kiss her and grabbed her throat again, his hand pulsing in and out “for minutes,” the police report said.
“SQUEEZING HARD,” she would text a friend the next morning.
And then, he let go. “I’m too drunk,” Ms. Hayne recalled him saying, as he went into the back seat to pass out.
Well, now he’s front page news in the New York Times. He definitely figured out how to become famous.