Square Exec Accused of Harassing a Male Employee Was Involved in Homophobic Incident

By Cameron Scott 

Keith Rabois, who resigned as COO of Square yesterday, said today that his resignation stemmed from a lawsuit alleging that he had sexually harassed a male employee at Square, the successful payments processing startup led by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

But two decades ago, when Rabois was a law student at Stanford, he faced potential disciplinary charges for calling a lecturer a “faggot,” according to a Stanford press release at the time.

“Faggot! Hope you die of AIDS!” Rabois shouted in the direction of the campus residence of Dennis Matthies, who taught at the university for 30 years, according to a professional biography. Matthies has also worked at Microsoft and Cybress Semiconductor.

Matthies could not immediately be reached for comment.

Rabois acknowledged to the Stanford Daily that he had made the remarks.

“The intention was for the speech to be outrageous enough to provoke a thought of ‘Wow, if he can say that, I guess I can say a little more than I thought,'” Rabois wrote at the time.

Then-dean of students Michael Jackson decided that the speech was protected, although he called it a “vicious tirade.”

Earlier today, Rabois released a statement claiming that he and the man had a “relationship” began before the man who is know alleging sexual harassment was employed at Square. Rabois said the relationship was consensual and didn’t influence their work together. He resigned, he said, because he and the company decided that fighting the lawsuit would be a distraction.

It appears to be Rabois’s first published acknowledgment that he is gay or bisexual.