Papa John’s Founder Accused of Sexual Misconduct and Fostering a ‘Bro’ Culture

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter resigned as chairman of his company last week after a recording of him using the N-word was leaked to Forbes — and the pizza chain founder hasn’t gone quietly into the night: He’s accused the company’s board of directors of failing to investigate the incident properly and says he regrets stepping down. But a new investigative report from Forbes alleges more misconduct, saying Schnatter presided over a “bro” culture at Papa John’s, where women were often the target of sexual harassment, and himself engaged in sexual misconduct that resulted in at least two confidential settlements.

Schnatter is accused of stalking and groping a woman in 1999; he later claimed the woman was trying to extort him for $5 million, but the situation ended with a confidential settlement. Forbes also reports that a 2009 “incident” involving a 24-year-old female marketing employee resulted in another confidential settlement, and anonymous sources say there have also been more settlements over the years. Meanwhile, sources say women at the company were subjected to harassing behavior from Schnatter and other male employees, such as being asked about their bra size or if they were menstruating. Schnatter also allegedly asked employees to spy on their colleagues, and sometimes read workers’ emails. Schnatter, through a representative, “disputed” most of the Forbes story.