I imagine many of you are wondering how I feel today, having read the statement that Brian Chesky posted yesterday on his Airbnb blog. I thought I might best explain my reaction here, in my own words.
When I originally wrote my story, I did so as a personal account of a significant experience in my life, as a cautionary tale, and to help me process the emotions I was dealing with. That my blog piece has gone viral in the way that it has came as a shock to me, and was absolutely never my intention. But I am gratified nonetheless that the extent of public awareness my story generated has encouraged Airbnb to implement real change to its product, its service and its community of users.
I agree with Mr. Chesky's statement that Airbnb should have responded much more quickly to my urgent pleas for help, that they should have communicated with more sensitivity, and that they should have taken decisive action to help me feel safe during what has been a desperate time. Had they done so, and had these significant new policies been implemented from the very beginning, I could have been spared nearly six weeks now of disruption and displacement, and the hurt and exhaustion of having to face disparaging remarks, slander and harassment, my integrity being called into question, my character publicly trashed. I was at one time a victim of an awful crime, doing my best to cope. Today, in addition to that, I have unwittingly and unexpectedly become the target of an onslaught, being called a liar and much, much worse by both public and anonymous figures who have no first-hand knowledge whatsoever of the very decent person I am, nor any knowledge of what has transpired in the past several weeks. All of this has exponentially confounded the trauma I already felt, and has taken its toll both emotionally and physically, subjecting me to utter hell. So while Mr. Chesky's public apology to me is clearly a heartfelt one and certainly appreciated, and while I applaud the steps that Airbnb is taking to fulfill its commitment to safety and security, the reality for me is that the hardship continues. As will, no doubt, the nasty comments and unwarranted name-calling that have been thrown in my face.
Regarding the crime itself, I am taken aback by the amount of misinformation being spread and publicly stated about the criminal investigation, and I wish I could address it all. But at this time I am not comfortable sharing any further details about the investigation, as it is still ongoing. Believe me, I want resolution and criminal charges pressed more than anyone out there. If and when the justice process happens and comes to completion, I will write about it. I hope you will come back here in search of answers to the many questions that loom large. But most of all, I hope to get answers myself so that I can begin to move forward.
On a final note, I want to again thank everyone out there - my rock of a family, my loving friends, and the kindest of strangers - for their outpouring of support, love and encouragement throughout this ordeal, particularly those who have unsolicitedly spoken out in my defense. I couldn’t keep going - or writing - without you.