At that time the standard settlement payoff was $5,000, but that was only if the woman was lying. That was about half the cases, the ones with the typical scenario: Woman gets fired, woman makes sexual harassment claim, company settles to avoid publicity. In the cases where the guys were guilty, the payoff could go sky-high—there was actually an informal scale of sleaziness depending on whether touching was involved, whether there was outright coercion or sexual blackmail, and whether it was a romantic affair or not. Just a single episode of oral sex could jack that payment up to $50,000—that’s how scared they were then, so I can imagine what it’s like now.
Anyhow, I showed my lawyer friend all the Silicon Valley casting couch stories published by the Times and asked her if any of them rose to the level of actual crimes, and she said nope. They didn’t even rise to the level of actionable civil suits. After all, these women weren’t employees, and the Times even went so far as to point out that the women got their funding from other venture capitalists, presumably some of whom were male. So it all amounts to women who are out there successfully raising millions of dollars but feel the need to publicly shame their fellow millionaires.