Kleiner Perkins offered Ellen Pao almost $1 million to settle, and is now demanding that much in court costs

On the hook.
On the hook.
Image: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
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The drama of the Ellen Pao gender discrimination lawsuit is not quite over. After defeating Pao in court, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is now seeking to recuperate $972,815 in litigation costs from its former partner. The firm says it is willing to waive these costs—which include $864,000 for expert witness fees, but not attorneys’ fees—if Pao agrees not to appeal, according to documents filed today with the San Francisco Superior Court.

“We believe that women in technology would be best served by having all parties focus on making progress on the issues of gender diversity outside of continued litigation,” Kleiner Perkins spokeswoman Christina Lee said in a statement. Judge Harold Kahn, who oversaw the trial, will make the final ruling on how much Pao must pay.

In a sensational case that rocked Silicon Valley, Pao sought $16 million in damages from Kleiner Perkins, claiming she wasn’t promoted to senior partner because of her gender. In March, the jury ruled against her on all counts.

According to its filings, Kleiner Perkins offered Pao $964,502 to settle the case in November, a figure based on (remarkably accurate!) projected litigation costs. Now, she could be on the hook if she continues to pursue the case. Pao hasn’t said publicly if she plans to appeal the decision, which she must decide by June 8, but Reuters reports that she is considering the firm’s offer.

Pao, who is now the interim CEO at Reddit, has said her objective for suing Kleiner Perkins was to change the firm’s culture. Shortly after the verdict last month, she issued a statement to say she was grateful to have her “day in court.”

“If I’ve helped to level the playing field for women and minorities in venture capital, then the battle was worth it,” she said.