Snapchat's CEO apologizes for crude e-mails he sent while at Stanford
The messages insult women and encourage getting them drunk for sex
Evan Spiegel, 23, says he's "mortified" by the e-mails
Snapchat is a photo-based messaging app with more than 30 million users
The CEO of popular messaging app Snapchat is apologizing after a set of filthy e-mails he wrote several years ago to his fraternity brothers at Stanford University was leaked publicly this week.
In the e-mails, acquired by Gawker’s Valleywag blog, Evan Spiegel encourages fellow Kappa Sigma members to get sorority women drunk enough to have sex, mocks another fraternity by suggesting its members are gay and refers to a different group of sorority members as “sororisluts.”
“Hope at least six girl[s] [performed a sex act on you] last night because that didn’t happen for me,” he wrote in one e-mail after a fraternity party, according to the Gawker blog.
In another, the blog says, he jokes that the point of a laser-tag outing was to “shoot lazers at fat girls.”
In a written response sent to CNN by Snapchat, Spiegel, now 23, apologized for the e-mails.
“I’m obviously mortified and embarrassed that my idiotic e-mails during my fraternity days were made public,” he said. “I have no excuse. I’m sorry I wrote them at the time and I was a jerk to have written them. They in no way reflect who I am today or my views towards women.”
A Snapchat spokeswoman told CNN that Spiegel had no further comment.
In other messages that were screen-grabbed onto the Gawker blog, Spiegel described a party “shopping list” that included “3 kegs, 5 … plastic shot glasses, 1 ounce of marijuana, 1 kilo of blow (cocaine).”
In another, he writes, “I’ll roll a blunt for whoever sees the most (breasts) tonight,” according to the blog.
Some of the messages were too sexually explicit for CNN to publish.
Snapchat is a mobile messaging app popular with teens and young adults. It lets users trade photos and videos that disappear after a few seconds. Spiegel created Snapchat along with fraternity brother Bobby Murphy while attending Stanford. He left the university in 2012, shortly before finishing his degree, to focus on Snapchat.
A third Kappa Sigma member, Reginald “Reggie” Brown IV, is suing Snapchat, saying he was the one who came up with the app’s concept of disappearing messages and designed its logo but was omitted from the launch of the company. It’s now valued at around $4 billion.
Spiegel has denied the lawsuit’s allegations.
Spiegel and Murphy founded their company as Picaboo in July 2011 and later changed its name to Snapchat. The app, which developed a reputation early in its history as a tool for sharing sexual images, is estimated to have more than 30 million users.
Snapchat claims its users send more than 700 million photos and videos a day. Snapchat reportedly turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook last fall.
Time magazine last month named Spiegel and Murphy among its 100 Most Influential People of 2014.
Spiegel’s leaked e-mails may be seen as yet another example of a “brogrammer” culture in Silicon Valley and the male-dominated tech industry, where some female employees have complained about sexist comments and a lack of respect from their male co-workers.