eXp named in another sexual assault lawsuit
More allegations emerge of misconduct, company’s lack of response
The sexual assault scandal at eXp Realty is growing, after a woman filed the second lawsuit against the brokerage regarding two prominent agents.
On Thursday, Anya Roberts filed a lawsuit, alleging she was drugged and sexually assaulted by agents of the brokerage, the New York Times reported. Her lawsuit goes after the same two agents accused of sexual misconduct in a previous lawsuit this year, Michael Bjorkman and David Golden.
Roberts met Golden at a real estate event in February 2020 and commenced what seemed to be a romantic relationship, according to her complaint. But Golden allegedly offered her some drug repeatedly that wiped out her memory. In another instance with Bjorkman, she was allegedly offered a performance-enhancing drug for her workouts.
Roberts claims both men sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious. She is also going after the brokerage, claiming it is accountable because leadership was aware of these alleged assaults at the time; attorneys for both men did not comment to the Times on the lawsuit.
Roberts also alleged a prominent company recruiter, Michael Sherrard, put his hand up her skirt. Sherrard couldn’t be reached for comment but continues to work for eXp, unlike Golden and Bjorkman; one left the company in 2020, but the other wasn’t removed until after the first lawsuit was filed in the winter.
Bjorkman was charged with two counts of sexual assault in February 2021, but the district attorney’s office dropped the case.
eXp CEO Glenn Sanford declined to comment to the Times because of the ongoing litigation. He has described the issue with Golden and Bjorkman as resolved.
But issues surrounding company culture seem far from resolved, according to the Times report.
In April 2022, a female consultant wrote a letter to the company’s board of directors to take action on behalf of women reporting assaults, only to be ignored. In October 2022, a broker filed an ethics complaint against her supervisor after he texted her asking for photos of her watching pornography. In May, a broker was allegedly raped by a photographer she met at a party held by an eXp affiliate.
Further compounding issues, eXp’s “upline” structure forces agents to essentially make payments to the same people they are accusing of misconduct. Every agent is required to have a sponsor — the person who recruited them to the firm – which can’t be changed. Golden sponsored Bjorkman, who allegedly sponsored three women in the initial lawsuit. That means Golden and Bjorkman continued collecting payments after their incidents, according to the complaint, including from the very women they were accused of drugging and assaulting.
A representative for eXp said the company changed its policies this year to stop revenue-sharing with agents who have been terminated, but didn’t respond to a query regarding when Golden and Bjorkman stopped receiving payments.
— Holden Walter-Warner