In 2021, video game writer Chris Avellone sued two women who had accused him of sexual misconduct for libel. Today, Avellone has published a joint statement with those two women announcing a settlement of the lawsuit.
The specific terms of the settlement are confidential, but they include a "seven-figure payment" to Avellone, and a joint statement from the two women, Karissa Barrows and Kelly Rae Bristol, saying that "Mr. Avellone never sexually abused either of us." The statement was published in full on Avellone's Medium blog.
"We have no knowledge that he has ever sexually abused any women," the message continues. "We have no knowledge that Mr. Avellone has ever misused corporate funds. Anything we have previously said or written about Mr. Avellone to the contrary was not our intent. We wanted to support women in the industry. In so doing, our words have been misinterpreted to suggest specific allegations of misconduct that were neither expressed nor intended."
In June 2020, amid an outpouring of people sharing accounts of sexual abuse in the games industry, Barrows and Bristol accused Avellone of sexual misconduct. Following that accusation, studios which had been working with Avellone distanced themselves from him, including Dying Light 2 developer Techland. Following that, Barrows provided more detailed allegations against Avellone to Kotaku.
"I understand that Ms. Barrows has requested to retract her comments to the media about me," Avellone said in the settlement statement.
A year after the allegations hit, in June 2021, Avellone made a detailed response to the allegations on his blog, and filed the lawsuit against Barrows and Bristol that has now been settled.
"I appreciate the willingness of Ms. Barrows and Ms. Bristol to work with us in addressing issues within the game community, and their advocacy is to be commended and supported," Avellone said in the settlement statement. "There are still many very real challenges that we face but am confident we can face them together. In the spirit of these goals, I would ask everyone to respect the privacy of Ms. Barrows and Ms. Bristol and use this opportunity as a means to listen to all voices in improving our culture and our communities."
As a writer and designer, Avellone contributed to numerous games renowned for their storytelling, including Fallout 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Planescape: Torment, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, and 2017's Prey.