Kristie Colón, the ex-wife of Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price, has written a blog post in which she stands behind the domestic abuse allegations initially described during a TEDx talk last year, and claims she was silenced in the wake of an ensuing storm as the University of Kentucky ultimately decided to retract and delete the footage.
Onstage during the talk, which was about how writing can be harnessed to overcome trauma, Colón says she felt “both brave and afraid in the same moment” as she read from her journal about instances when Price threw, punched, slapped, body-slammed and waterboarded her during their marriage.
But after the existence of the TEDx talk was reported by Bloomberg before it had even been published by the university, a media firestorm started to brew. Price, who had shot to national acclaim after raising the minimum salary at his credit card processing startup to $70,000, told Entrepreneur at the time that the abuse allegations were “completely false.” Neither Price nor a representative for Gravity Payments was immediately available for comment.
“Phrases like ‘potential defamation lawsuit’ and ‘disgusting things claimed’ were being texted, emailed and phoned in to me,” Colón writes on her blog. “Basically, it was an introvert’s worst nightmare.” She also describes being misrepresented in the press and watching “people lie, omit, speculate, and bully.”
Consequently, “I shut down,” she writes. “I quit talking because all I could see was cruelty on the other side. Sure, some people could write their own origin myth, but I couldn’t even tell my truth to a small group of people without other people losing their minds.”
Despite shutting down for two months, however, Colón, who declined to comment for this story, says she is now seeking to own the truth of what happened to her in order to exorcise her demons and potentially help other trauma survivors -- though, to be fair, she still speaks of the experience with a decided vagueness. “The story of my marriage and my dad’s death [Colon’s father committed suicide when she was nine years old] are only a piece of the story that’s shaped me,” she writes.
Colón also notes on her blog that, while she was initially sent a link to the now-deleted TEDx talk, she “didn’t secure a copy” since she was told it was for viewing purposes only. The University of Kentucky told Entrepreneur last month that it had deleted its copy. A report in Geekwire claims that Gravity Payments may have access to one of the few remaining copies of the video, citing emails obtained through a public records request between the university and Price’s press reps.