Give me $2.7 million and I won't appeal.
That's what Ellen Pao allegedly asked of a prestigious Silicon Valley venture capital firm to cover her legal fees and other costs -- just weeks after losing her high-profile sex discrimination case to them.
Her former employer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is opposing Pao's request that a San Francisco Superior Court judge a filing Friday that her claim is "particularly nonsensical," since she's asking the firm again for money.her paying nearly $1 million in legal fees to the firm. It argued in
"Pao cannot have it both ways," Kleiner's attorneys wrote. "She ran up KPCB's costs by forcing KPCB to respond to an onslaught of allegations and discovery over the course of three years leading up to trial and is now objecting when she receives the bill."
Pao's representatives declined to comment, Pao spokeswoman Heather Wilson said Friday.
Now interim CEO of social news site Reddit, Pao sued Kleiner Perkins for $16 million, alleging she was fired after she complained about pervasive sexism. Aof six men and six women on March 27 rejected Pao's claim of discrimination and retaliation over her 2012 firing from the firm. The trial included accusations of a boys club-like atmosphere at the firm, testimony about alleged poor job performance on Pao's part during her seven years there, and discussion of Pao's affair with a married colleague.
The firm filed a motion in late April to recover about $973,000 in legal fees, but said it would waive the fees if Pao would agree not to appeal her loss.
Kleiner Perkins spokeswoman Christina Lee said in a statement Friday that Pao is legally obligated to pay a portion of Kleiner's legal costs, but the firm was willing to waive those fees to bring the matter to a close.
"In response, Pao demanded an additional $2.7 (million) payment from KPCB in return for not appealing, despite the jury's unequivocal verdict in our favor on all counts," Lee said. "We have no intention of accepting this unreasonable demand."
On Monday, Pao filed a two-page notice to appeal her loss. It did not list any specific arguments for appeal. She has a little over a month to list her arguments.
Kleiner Perkins offered to settle with her for $964,502 last November. Pao never responded and the case went to trial in February.
Pao said last week at the Code Conference in Southern California she hadabout suing the firm, as the trial captured the nation's attention.
A hearing on Pao's request to dismiss her legal fees to the firm is scheduled on June 18 in San Francisco.