The Real Deal New York

Douglas Elliman to hold MeToo conference–and Bo Dietl will be part of it

Investigation platform being billed as a way to "bridge the gap between corporate employees and HR departments."
By Kathryn Brenzel | February 20, 2019 01:30PM

Bo Dietl (Credit: Getty Images)

UPDATED, February 20, at 2:15 p.m.: Douglas Elliman is launching a “MeToo investigation platform” created by recent mayoral hopeful and private investigator Bo Dietl.

The brokerage and Dietl plan to host a joint press conference to discuss the third-party portal, which would allow employees to lodge workplace misconduct and sexual harassment complaints, representatives for Dietl said. The platform is being billed as a way to file complaints “without fear of blowback from an employer” and to “bridge the gap between corporate employees and HR departments.”

The press conference was initially planned for Thursday but was abruptly canceled Wednesday afternoon “due to flight cancellations caused by New York’s inclement weather,” said Nicholas Koulermos of 5W Public Relations, which represents Dietl. Dietl said the conference will now be held March 6, which will give him extra time to perfect his platform.

Dietl’s representatives said Elliman would be the first corporate client to use the portal. Elliman declined to comment.

Dietl might seem like an unlikely designer for such a platform. In 2016, he told the Daily Beast that, in his experience investigating sexual harassment lawsuits, he found “98 percent of these are bullshit.” He said for the other 2 percent, the guilty parties should be punished to the “fullest extent of the law.”

When-then Fox News chairman Roger Ailes was accused of sexual harassment, Fox hired Dietl to discredit the accusers, TV personalities Gretchen Carlson and Andrea Tantaros, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2017. In an interview on Wednesday, Dietl said he wasn’t directly hired by Ailes but by a law firm that Fox hired.

“This whole thing which has happened with Roger Ailes — and I didn’t know that any of that was going on at all — I think that kind of opened my eyes to the fact that there are women and men who are being harassed in their corporations, and I’d like to be there as an alternative to help people,” he said.

According to LinkedIn, Charles Diamond, a former senior investigator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, joined Dietl’s firm in October.