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That 70K Minimum Wage CEO’s Story Might Have A Sketchy Side

His motivations may not have been altruistic at all and he also denies allegations that he abused his ex-wife.

Everything seemed pretty great for Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price when we wrote about him this fall. As of October, a glowing profile from Inc.com showed that people were banging down the door to get in on this company that managed to double profits with their progressive edge by raising the minimum wage of all of his employees to $70,000.

However, a new story from Bloomberg Businessweek's Karen Weise, follows court documents from the ongoing lawsuit between Price and his brother/former-business partner, Lucas Price, that show that the legal action against the CEO started weeks before Gravity Payments made their famous announcement. Previously, Price implied that the lawsuit was responding to the salary hikes (he said he "regretted" that the "controversial" decision put a rift between the brothers) but it may have been the other way around.

Price had previously paid himself $1.1 million, which Bloomberg Businessweek reported was "atypical" for such a small company (and they contend that it's that high salary that Lucas Price was objecting to in the original lawsuit served to Dan Price.)

This time discrepancy also changes the Gravity Payments mythos: Instead of the altruistic, progressive image we've come to accept, the story alleges that the whole thing might've been part of a corporate 'f--k you' move. Upping the wages meant that Lucas Price (a minority share-holder in the company) wouldn't see any profits.

The Bloomberg Businessweek story also brings in another thread in Price's personal life: Citing a TedX talk that will be released the first week of December featuring his former wife, they report that she has since become an advocate of "writing to overcome trauma" and shared her own story of physical abuse from her husband in 2006.

When asked about these claims, Price first said that he was "surprised" and that "out of respect for her, I wouldn’t feel comfortable responding to a supposed allegation she may have said coming from a Bloomberg Businessweek reporter when I have absolutely zero evidence of an allegation being made.”

Later, he called up Weise to deny the allegations: "There’s one more thing that I would like to add to my previous statement. The events that you described never happened."