Thursday, December 2, 2021

Who is Michael Johnston? CEO fired for taking in nanny while undressing at home

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The record label booted CEO Michael Johnston after the arrest for recording nannies who claim they were told to use cameras in certain areas of the house

A record label CEO faces both legal and professional problems after being sacked for arrest. Michael Johnston, co-founder of Audiotree, was arrested on November 9 for allegedly taking in two nannies without their consent. The two women filed a lawsuit alleging that Johnston and his wife had set up multiple cameras in their Chicago home disguised as normal household items that they only discovered after being asked a second time around the house to sit.

Johnston isn’t the only person caught for an incident like this. In mid-October, an Amazon driver was arrested in Massachusetts for dressing up as a girl and filming women in a mall bathroom. In early April, the NYPD was sued by a woman who alleged a police officer filmed her during her one-night stand. In December 2020, a perverted stepfather was caught filming his daughter bathing for years, resulting in a prison sentence.

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Who is Michael Johnston?

Johnston is currently considering a possible prison sentence as well as compensation of at least $ 270,000 per woman. He was originally sued by the women in September but was not arrested until November 9th. Just a week later, Audiotree decided to part ways with him.

The 38-year-old founded the indie music label Audiotree with his close friend Adam Thurston in 2011. The duo grew up together in Kalamazoo, Michigan before starting the company in Chicago a decade ago. Johnson has deleted all of his social media profiles since his arrest, so we couldn’t find any more information about where he studied and worked before starting Audiotree. In 2015, with the help of his father, William Johnston, he bought the local venue, Schubas and Lincoln Hall.

Senior Johnston is a wealthy investor in town, according to one report, but little else has been found. Johnston’s mother is Ronda Stryker, who currently runs the medical device company, Stryker Corp, founded by her grandfather. Johnston is reportedly on the board of directors of the Stryker Johnston Foundation, which works to eradicate “Intergenerational Poverty in Kalamazoo County”.

It is believed that Johnston and his wife, Kelly Halverson, own an 8,000-square-foot home in Roscoe Village and have two children in need of a nanny. That prompted her to hire the two nannies, who were recent DePaul University graduates and roommates.

A woman identified as Jane Doe was hired in December 2019, around the same time as the other known as Julie. The two were asked to sit indoors first when the Johnstons went on vacation in January 2020. They were encouraged to use the master bedroom and hot tub and “help themselves” to alcohol. “While they were sitting in the house, and without their knowledge or consent, Julie and Jane secretly videotaped themselves and bathed with spy cameras that they had hidden in the bathroom and elsewhere,” said their lawsuit.

When asked to sit back indoors in February 2020, the duo found several cameras disguised as “common household items,” including one in a picture frame looking directly at the bathtub. The lawsuit also alleges that Jane was asked to organize a box of sex toys that she claims she “thinks was part of a nursing process”. The Johnstons no longer appear to live in their Roscoe Village home and have instead moved to the suburbs where Chicago police found the women’s videos.

He appeared in court on November 10th on a crime charge and is now bailed. Two days later, Audiotree announced that they would fire Johnston from his role. Kelly has not yet been charged. The women are suing Johnston for invasion of privacy, emotional distress, and sexual harassment.

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