sexual harassment

Ad exec Denise Tee responds to Herbert Hernandez’s cyber libel complaint

Amanda T. Lago
Ad exec Denise Tee responds to Herbert Hernandez’s cyber libel complaint

A woman casts a shadow as she walks along a footpath past a coffee shop in Australia, July 25, 2017.

David Gray/Reuters

Tee wrote a Facebook post in August accusing the GIGIL co-founder of sexual harassment

Denise “Deng” Tee has responded to the cyber libel complaint made against her by Herbert Hernandez, saying that she did not write it out of malice, but expected Hernandez to own up to his mistake.

Tee is a creative director at Wunderman Thompson, while Hernandez is the co-founder of ad agency GIGIL and guitarist of 6cyclemind. 

In an August 12 Facebook post, Tee said that she and Hernandez crossed paths at an advertising festival in 2015, where he allegedly invited her to his hotel room and continued to send her inappropriate messages after she declined.

The post went viral on social media, and Hernandez filed a cyber libel complaint against Tee on August 26, according to Campaign Asia.

According to a statement sent to Rappler on Thursday, October 21, Tee has filed a counter-affidavit, wherein she reiterated what she said in her original Facebook post.

In the latest statement, Tee said, “I have no axe to grind against Herbert, but a rightful expectation that he own up to his mistake, simply apologize, and do no more harm.”

“His perjurious refusal to admit his mistake and, worse, his filing of a baseless complaint, is to victimize me yet again, and to victimize other women whom he denies even exist,” she continued.

The same statement revealed that Hernandez demanded damages in the amount of P10 million, and “[cited] his diploma and career highlights as proof of his innocence.”

It also said that the incident caused Tee “mental and emotional trauma,” even if it had happened years before. 

“I spoke the truth. And the truth is that my perpetrator was not some unnamed, anonymous person. He existed, and he had a name and a face, and it belonged to Mr. Hernandez. As it turned out, his was the name and the face for other women as well,” Tee said. 

According to women’s rights group Gabriela, at least five other women have approached them with sexual harassment complaints against Hernandez. 

The group’s Secretary General Joms Salvador also testified for Tee, saying “The power of the post stems from its honesty in naming her harasser, which in and by itself is a testament to the truth and credibility of the narration. A ‘blind item’ would not have achieved the same result, and would have only reflected the timidity which is the usual case from women victims, which is precisely why men target them with seeming impunity.”

Rappler has reached out to Hernandez, and are waiting for a response. – Rappler.com

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Amanda T. Lago

After avoiding long-term jobs in favor of travelling the world, Amanda finally learned to commit when she joined Rappler in July 2017. As a lifestyle and entertainment reporter, she writes about music, culture, and the occasional showbiz drama. She also hosts Rappler Live Jam, where she sometimes tries her best not to fan-girl on camera.