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Ex-actress 'accused Hurd of leaking HP's EDS buy'

Insider info claim hits Fishergate

When Mark Hurd resigned as HP CEO in early August, he stood accused not only of sexually harassing HP contractor and former soft-porn actress Jodie Fisher, but also of passing her insider information.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a June 29 letter to Hurd from Fisher's lawyer said that "Hurd told her of HP's intention to buy EDS at an HP event in Madrid in March 2008." HP officially announced its intention to acquire EDS for $13.9 billion in May of that year. In the same letter, Fisher's lawyer — celebrity attorney Gloria Allred — accused Hurd of sexually harassing her client, according to The Journal.

The report indicates that Hurd denied the allegation that he had told Fisher about the plan to buy EDS, but it also says the HP board "fretted about" the claim because they had "lost confidence" that he was telling the truth about his relationship with Fisher — the reason he was ultimately asked to resign.

The June 29 letter to Hurd also included an eight-page chronology detailing meetings between Hurd and Fisher in hotels across the globe, The Journal reports. And people who have seen the letter tell the paper that it accused Hurd of touching Fisher in sexually suggestive ways.

In March 2008, when Hurd allegedly told Fischer about HP's EDS plans, HP had just made a confidential offer to buy the services giant. A source tells The Journal that although the allegation was never made public, HP did provide regulators with information about the claim following Hurd's resignation.

When Hurd resigned, HP said he had not violated its sexual-harassment policy, but that the company's investigation had found violations of business-conduct standards. Both Hurd and Fisher denied that they had had a romantic relationship.

In 2007, HP started running events at hotels where customer executives could meet Hurd, and Fisher was hired as a contractor to help run these events. She had been spotted on the reality TV show, "Age of Love," in which she was one of 12 "bachelorettes" vying for the affections of former tennis star Mark Philippoussis. Previously, she had acted in adult movies, and though Hurd originally told the HP board he was not aware of her soft-porn past, according to The Journal, an HP investigation later discovered that he had visited webpages showing her in pornographic scenes on the site erotic4u.com. ®

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