Published On: Tue, Oct 21st, 2014

Jan Koum, WhatsApp CEO ‘Deeply Sorry’ For Assaulting Ex-Girlfriend In 1996

WhatsApp CEO and co-founder Jan Koum, 38, has apologized his ex-girlfriend for behavior that led her get a restraining order against him about 20 years ago.

The restraining order was made public for the first time by Bloomberg News on Monday. According to document Koum stalked, harassed and physically assaulted his ex-girlfriend, and forcing her to drop out of school in California.

READ HERE Jan Koum personal story:

“I am ashamed of the way I acted”, he posted an apology on facebook, “and ashamed that my behavior forced her to take legal action. I have great remorse about that episode, but I learned a lot and can honestly say that what happened almost 20 years ago does not accurately reflect the person I am today, ” he added about the incident.


In his apology Koum, now worth about $7.4 billion, note that he is concerned that her name will be leaked because of his visibility.

Bloomberg reported that Facebook, which bought the messaging app WhatsApp in Febuary 2014 for $19 billion, “accepted” Koum’s apology, but did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

“Jan has written a thoughtful and honest response that we believe demonstrates the sincerity of his remorse over what happened nearly two decades ago, ” a spokesman told Bloomberg.

According to the 1996 court documents, the billionaire entrepreneur followed his ex-girlfriend for a period of several months in 1995, verbally harassing her and even physically assaulting her.

Koum allegedly frightened her to the point that she would lock herself in the bathroom to hide from him. She also claimed she had to ask co-workers to walk her to her car at the end of her shift, in case Koum was waiting for her.

The intimidation peaked in October 1995, when the she was a student at Foothill Community College. According to the court order. “Jan Koum followed me through campus and physically harassed me. I stopped going to school that day, and when I was dropping my classes, I found that Jan Koum had found my Social Security Number and ruined my records at the school.”

She added in the restraining order: “I am physically, emotionally and mentally worn out because of him”. California federal court in 1996 forbade Koum or his friends to go within 300 feet of the woman’s house or job.


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