Chris Avellone, best known for writing Fallout: New Vegas, Pillars of Eternity, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords, commented on the harassment allegations from several girls in June 2020.
Then two women spoke about his inappropriate behavior: Karissa Barrows and indie developer Kelly Bristol. The first claimed that Avellone had drunk her heavily and tried to have sex with her, the second – that he repeatedly touched her below her back without permission and intended to take her to his room.
In addition, Karissa stated that her friend Jackie Collins, whom she introduced Avellone to, had been the victim of “emotional abuse” by the screenwriter for over a year.
In the immediate aftermath of these allegations, Chris Avellone publicly apologized to the girl he allegedly harmed emotionally. However, in June 2021, the screenwriter stated that the stories of Karissa Barrows and Kelly Bristol about how he behaved with them were “malicious attacks” on him, and detailed his version of what happened.
We chose the main thing from his story:
- The developer explained why he decided to comment on the allegations only a year after they appeared. According to Avellone, at first, he convinced himself that there was no malice in the stories of Karissa and Kelly, that their accusations were the result of delusions. But in the end, he came to the conclusion that the girls deliberately wanted to defame him, and for a year he collected evidence of his innocence.
- Avellone first met Karissa Barrows at Dragon Con in 2012. After the event, he saw her again at the bar and later accompanied her to her hotel room with two other developers. Avellone claims he did not spend the night with Karissa – they broke up after kissing in the hallway. During the festival, they met again and had fun. According to Avellone, they liked each other, the girl considered him her friend.
- Avellone and Karissa continued to communicate for a year and a half and met at other events. In 2013, Karissa introduced the developer to her friend Jackie Collins and advised him to “hit” her.
- Jackie and Avellone spent the night together, fell in love with each other, and began dating each other from time to time. Avellone claims that there was no relationship between them – he worked a lot at that time and was under stress because of this. Because of this, the developer, he said, told Jackie that he could not give her more than periodic meetings.
Six months after they started seeing each other, Jackie began to feel unhappy. Avellone did not rule out the possibility that the girl’s problems arose due to the fact that she wanted more from him than he could offer.
- A disagreement with Jackie led his friend Carissa to become hostile to Avellone. As a result, in 2014, the screenwriter stopped communicating with her. Due to Karissa’s interference, Avellone claims he soon fell out with Jackie and stopped seeing her.
In June 2020, Karissa revealed that Chris Avellone allegedly behaved inappropriately towards her, and also mentioned her friend Jackie (although she did not call her by name). After that, another girl, Kelly, spoke about her negative experience of communicating with the developer.
- According to Avellone, Karissa decided that he was unfair, dishonestly treated her friend, and tried to get her justice. However, the developer believes that Karissa’s actions did not meet the wishes of Jackie, who wanted to continue to meet with him. Karissa was convinced that Avellone and Jackie should part – which ultimately happened.
Avellone also drew attention to the fact that when he met with Jackie she had no problems yet, Karissa wrote in her social networks that she had never encountered harassment and inappropriate behavior. However, in 2020, she removed the post from Twitter about this – as well as 60 thousand other publications in which there could be inconsistencies between her past behavior and the charges later brought against Avellone.
- With Kelly, who spoke about Avellone’s inappropriate behavior after Karissa, the developer, he said, never spoke. The girl stated that he touched her in the bar without permission, but no one could confirm her story, because, according to Kelly herself, there were no witnesses.
But when Kelly told the story later, she did name some of the people who allegedly saw Avellone treat her. When Avellone himself contacted these people, they were surprised to hear Kelly’s version and said that nothing of the kind had happened.
- Avellone believes that Kelly, being a friend of Karissa and Jackie, deliberately decided to defame him – in order to convince other people that he repeatedly behaved inappropriately.
After the charges brought against him in 2020, Avellone tried to contact Karissa and find out why she lied about their relationship. However, the girl stated that he was not worthy of her answer.
- Chris Avellone noted that after the accusations, colleagues and relatives advised him to do two things, which, he said, were contrary to his character. First, don’t apologize. As noted by the developer, it seemed inhuman to him, but after he publicly apologized to Jackie, and users of social networks and the media perverted the essence of his words and decided that he apologized to Karissa, he realized that he was wrong. Secondly, to defend your interests in court. At first Avellone did not want to bring it to this, as he believed that it was better to let Karissa and Kelly speak out, to explain their actions. But in the end, Chris Avellone came to the conclusion that his approach was wrong, and now he is ready to defend himself in different
The developer also rebuked the media, in particular The Gamer, for not verifying the facts and thus exposed him as guilty of the story with Karissa and Kelly. Avellone also said that not all journalists tried to get comments from him. However, some still turned to him, but at first he could not answer them anything, as he was depressed by what had happened.
Avellone also mentioned the studios that decided to end cooperation with him even before he spoke about the situation. According to Avellone, he does not hold a grudge, for example, at the same Techland, but it was painful to read the studio’s public comment about the breakdown of cooperation with him.
- Chris Avellone noted that he intends to tell more in the future. Karissa at the time of publication of the note did not react to the developer’s story. A few hours after Avellone posted his story, the girl closed access to her Twitter and Instagram profiles.
On the evening of June 26, a lawsuit was found in the database of the California Supreme Court, which Chris Avellone had filed against Karissa Barrows and Kelly Bristol 10 days earlier.
In the lawsuit, Avellone said that the statements of both women about harassment on his part were deliberately false. Because of them, according to the developer, his reputation was undermined, he lost and continues to lose his job; the information spread by Bristol and Barrows humiliates his honor and dignity.
Based on this, Chris Avellone asked the court to award him compensation for real and general damage, as well as non-pecuniary damage, reimbursement of legal costs, impose a fine and a binding injunction against Carissa Barrows and Kelly Bristol.