An art director at Penguin Random House US has resigned from his post following sexual harassment allegations.
Giuseppe Castellano, executive art director at PRH imprint Penguin Workshop, was accused of sexual harassment by actress and comedian Charlyne Yi on Twitter. Although denying “every accusation made by her”, Castellano says that the allegations have disrupted his working conditions and made it impossible for him to continue at the company, Publishers Weekly has reported.
According to Yi, Castellano approached her about meeting up at a local bar to discuss the possibility of her writing a book. After leaving the bar together, Yi claims, Castellano tried to convince her to invite him up to her room.
However, Castellano has said that Yi’s account of the events were “fabricated”.
Giving a statement on his blog, Castellano said Yi invited him out for drinks, but there was no mention of discussing a book. Castellano admitted that the pair drank too much and “shared deeply personal stories”. He claims that he tried to assure her that what he said was intended as platonic.
He said: “As a result of her online campaign against me, an untenable disruption of business arose—making it difficult for me to continue at Penguin. So, it was with a heavy heart that I decided to resign.”
In a statement from PRH, the company said that it conducted an internal investigation into the matter, and then hired an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation. It said: "These two investigations have concluded. In the end, it became clear to [Castellano] that his presence at the company had the potential to impact the day to day workings of the Penguin Workshop imprint. As a result, he resigned.”