McDonald's found nude photos of employees sent by former CEO on company servers: lawsuit

The Chicago-based restaurant chain claims that Easterbrook lied to preserve his severance package

McDonald's accused ousted CEO Steve Easterbrook of sending nude photos of employees from his company email account to a personal email, in a lawsuit attempting to recover Easterbrook's multimillion-dollar golden parachute.

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The Chicago-based restaurant chain says Easterbrook lied to preserve his severance package, which included roughly $40 million in stock-based benefits, upon his firing last year.

McDonald's said its board would never have terminated Easterbrook "without cause," allowing him to collect the generous severance, had he not allegedly covered up sexual relationships with three employees.

In this Wednesday, July 26, 2017, file photo, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook is interviewed at the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

McDonald's also accuses Easterbrook of approving "a special discretionary grant of restricted stock units – worth hundreds of thousands of dollars" to an employee "shortly after their first sexual encounter and within days of their second."

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McDonald's original investigation last year did not turn up the alleged sexual relationships Easterbrook had with employees, and the company found out about them after an anonymous report in July, according to the lawsuit. He was terminated for a non-sexual but inappropriate relationship with an employee.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
MCDMCDONALD'S CORP.216.410.000.00%

A second investigation turned up "dozens of nude, partially nude, or sexually explicit photographs and videos of various women, including photographs of these company employees, that Easterbrook had sent as attachments to messages from his company e-mail account to his personal e-mail account," according to the suit.

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"The date and time stamps on the photographs of the three company employees show that the photographs were all taken in late 2018 or early 2019," the suit said.

Easterbrook deleted the explicit images from his company-issued phone before turning it in after his termination, but the images were preserved on company servers, the company said.

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Read the SEC filing containing McDonald's suit here.

FOX Business' inquiry to a spokesperson for Easterbrook was not immediately returned.

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