Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Allegations against Roy Moore continue to pile up, we meet the real Molly Bloom, and Katrina Lake wasn’t Stitch Fix’s only founder. Have a wonderful Thursday.
• The war on Moore. The allegations against Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore—who’s been accused of initiating unwanted sexual encounters with minors—are piling up even higher. Yesterday, more women came forward to describe encounters with the Republican candidate, bringing the number of women who have spoken up against the politician to seven.
Also yesterday, local news site AL.com reported that Moore was known to cruise for young girls at the local mall in his hometown of Gadsden; he was allegedly banned from the shopping center because “he was bothering girls” there.
Moore, in an open letter to the conservative talk show host Sean Hannity, denied all accusations of assault and insisted that he “did not date underage girls”—though he did say he might have dated teenagers when he was in his 30s. His lawyer, Phillip Jauregui, is also casting doubt on at least one woman’s allegations.
Either way, the GOP isn’t taking any chances. Politico reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his top advisers are discussing asking current Alabama Senator Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat, to resign to trigger a new special election. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that a state party committee is mulling whether Moore should remain the Republican nominee (they did not comment on the outcome of that discussion).
President Donald Trump has so far stayed silent on the matter, though his daughter and presidential advisor Ivanka Trump weighed in during an interview with the Associated Press yesterday, saying: “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children.”
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• This year’s best. Fortune this morning revealed its Business Person of the Year list, with Ulta Beauty’s Mary Dillon and Lockheed Martin’s Marillyn Hewson making the prestigious top 10. Check out the full list here.
• Stitch Fix’s secret. Stitch Fix, a fashion startup preparing to go public this week, lists CEO Katrina Lake as its sole founder on its website and in documents distributed to prospective investors. But, WSJ reports, “buried in a footnote of a regulatory filing is a hint of the type of ownership conflict that often roils young companies early on.” It turns out Lake once had a co-founder, named Erin Morrison Flynn, who has been scrubbed from most company records. In a lawsuit that was settled in 2014, Flynn claimed that they started the company, originally called Rack Habit, together in October 2010.
Wall Street Journal
• Meet Molly Bloom. The forthcoming film Molly’s Game, starring Jessica Chastain, is about a world-class skier named Molly Bloom who went on to run the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game (only to become an FBI target). The real-life Bloom took the stage at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit to share with the room full of entrepreneurial businesswomen some of the lessons she learned.
• So very Vice. Vice is the latest media company to investigate accusations of sexual harassment by senior employees, following a Daily Beast exposé in which the publication spoke with more than a dozen former and current Vice employees about the company’s culture. In the words of one former female employee, “hostility due to sexism, racism, religionism, ageism, idk-what-ism makes us feel not only uncomfortable, but unsafe and just plain dirty.”
• The cop gap. A new Politico survey (the first in over a decade) revealed a gender gap at federal law enforcement agencies that’s as wide as it was during the Clinton administration: In 1996, women held about 14% of the country’s federal law enforcement jobs; today, that number is 15%. The gap raises questions about the competence of these agencies: Most obviously, female agents are needed to do invasive searches of women and for undercover work. But, at a higher level, “any organization that fails to engage half the population in its hiring is leaving behind serious talent,” the publication notes.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Fake news fighter. Meet Renee DiResta, the tech founder who has been battling disinformation campaigns for years. She recently advised Congress on the use of bots and fake accounts to manipulate social media. She says she discovered years ago “that Facebook’s platform was tailor-made for a small group of vocal people to amplify their voices, especially if their views veered toward the conspiratorial.”
New York Times
• Ch-ch-ch-changes. Liza Landsman, the recently promoted president of Jet.com, discussed with the Next Gen audience on Tuesday the adjustments Walmart had to make when it bought the online shopping startup. Though Jet’s employee happy hours initially moved to local bars, they have since returned to the office by popular demand. And, while Walmart has been selling certain no-frills vibrators for several years, Jet sells products such as sex furniture and “anatomically correct male genitalia”—which meant Walmart had to add a “gate” in front of its online sex toy department.
• Adios, Dos Santos. Isabel Dos Santos, Africa’s first female billionaire, has been fired from her post as head of Angola’s national oil company Sonangol. Dos Santos is the daughter of Angola’s former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled the country from independence in 1979 until stepping down earlier this year. Forbes estimates her total wealth as $3.5 billion, although she has generally pegged it much lower.
• The co-Skimms. TheSkimm founders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg are co-CEOs, a choice they say has made their company stronger. “Almost six years in, I’m so thankful we have this model because I think it would be completely isolating to go through this alone,” said Weisberg at Next Gen on Tuesday. “We go through the day making so many decisions. The one thing I never have to think about is ‘can I trust my partner?’”
ON MY RADAR
Arianna Huffington ignored sexual misconduct at The Huffington Post
Jennifer Lawrence says she was punished for standing up to inappropriate director
Martha MacCallum: Fox hosts aren’t ‘blonde Barbies’
The one word that causes Amber Heard to automatically throw away a script