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A new lawsuit — which echoes an existing case from earlier this year — accuses two now-former eXp Realty agents of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman, and claims the company failed to put a stop to the “abhorrent behavior.”
Anya Roberts filed the federal suit Thursday in California. Roberts is a real estate agent who joined eXp in 2018. The suit stems from Roberts’ experiences as an agent at the company, experiences which, according to the complaint in the case, include being repeatedly drugged at corporate events and then sexually assaulted by multiple people.
Those claims closely mirror the accusations raised in a lawsuit from February. That case accused now-former eXp agents Michael Bjorkman and David Golden of repeatedly drugging and assaulting multiple women.
Roberts’ case also targets Golden and Bjorkman. According to the new complaint, Roberts met David Golden, then a top eXp agent, while on a boat during a professional event in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. At one point, the complaint states, Golden’s girlfriend, Emily Keenan, gave Roberts a pill, and she soon blacked out.
Roberts doesn’t remember what happened afterward, according to the complaint, but was told by friends that she thereafter disappeared for “an extended period of time.”
“Ms. Roberts believes she was sexually assaulted” that evening, the complaint adds.
The complaint further states that the next day, Roberts went to retrieve her things from Golden and Keenan’s room, accepted a drink, and “lost a significant portion of her memory.” However, the complaint states that Roberts does remember being sexually assaulted by Keenan as Golden looked on. The complaint adds that, moments later, Golden told Roberts he could “make her a hugely successful top agent at eXp Realty, just like him.”
The complaint goes on to recount various encounters with Golden, as well as an incident in Daytona Beach, Florida, during which Roberts believes she was drugged and assaulted by both him and Bjorkman.
Golden, Bjorkman, and Keenan are all listed as defendants in the case. Additional defendants include eXp Realty, parent company eXp World Holdings, eXp World Holdings founder and CEO Glenn Sanford, recruiter Michael Sherrard, who, according to the complaint, groped Roberts, and the agent who recruited Roberts to the company.
The complaint ultimately accuses eXp of not stopping the misbehavior.
“This is a case of drugging and sexual assault, ‘bad actors,’ and a company, eXp, who at worst knew of, encouraged, and permitted abhorrent behavior or at the least recklessly disregarded and willfully turned a blind eye to the actions of its top agent influencers for the benefit of its bottom line,” the complaint states.
The New York Times first reported on the new case Friday in a lengthy exposé on eXp. The Times piece includes interviews with Roberts and other women who say they were sexually assaulted and describes eXp’s culture as one of “work hard, play harder.”
Roberts’ complaint argues that Sanford and eXp “knew or should have known about the complaints” against Golden, Bjorkman and others. The previous suit, from February, goes further, stating that one of the other alleged victims approached both eXp founder Glenn Sanford and then-CEO Jason Gesing about the situation.
In an emailed response, eXp Realty told Inman that the company takes its “responsibility to foster a safe and inclusive environment very seriously. eXp Realty has zero tolerance for abuse, harassment, or misconduct of any kind — including by the independent real estate agents who use our services.
“We are now learning of new allegations of alleged assaults that were brought forth by another female agent and have begun an investigation into the claims. However, the claims against eXp and its leadership have no basis in fact or law … eXp has asked the court to dismiss these claims and is prepared to present and defend its position if necessary.”
In an emailed statement, a representative for Sherrard said the allegations against him “are simply false and without merit. Mr. Sherrard holds himself to the highest professional standards and is confident this unsubstantiated claim will be dismissed.”
The previous complaint from February also notes that Bjorkman was ultimately arrested in March 2021. Along with the arrest, police at the time reportedly prepared a 27-page report “describing multiple occasions of multiple women being drugged and assaulted by defendant Bjorkman while attending eXp Realty recruiting events,” the complaint states. Prosecutors in Las Vegas charged him with two counts of sexual assault but later dropped the case.
Among other things, the new complaint ultimately accuses Golden, Bjorkman, Keenan and Sherrard of sexual battery, civil battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It accuses eXp and Sanford of negligent hiring, retention and supervision. It asks for undetermined damages and for a jury trial.
Read the full complaint in the case here:
Update: This post was updated after publication with a statement from Michael Sherrard’s representative.