My name is Taylor Raines and I’m the former editor-in-chief at TATM. I felt the need to reach out to those who have recently been involved with the discussion surrounding Jordan and the claims of rape and sexual misconduct made against him, and am deciding to go public with my own statement. Like many other members of the TATM start-up, I was starry-eyed and excited to get my foot in the door with a journalist I looked up to quite a bit, and we were all eager to learn from Jordan. We hit the ground running with the initial team and were off to a great start. However, within months, several members of management and a couple of journalists resigned suddenly and all at once.
Information about sexual misconduct and harassment was brought to my attention at that time, among other accusations of mishandling money and his intent to not pay certain people. However, because Jordan never treated me poorly personally and I had received a paycheck, I interviewed for the newly-vacant role of editor-in-chief. I accepted the position when it was offered because it was my dream job, and I believed in the progressive image of TATM. Jordan would say things along the lines of, “you’re a great writer, and I think I can make you better,” and I was just grateful for the opportunity.
The accusations against him weighed heavily on my mind for the remainder of my time at TATM, and I felt immense guilt for staying employed by someone who was accused of such crimes against people—my friends—who I know once trusted him just as much as I did. I tried for months to mentally reconcile the accusations I heard with the person I came to know Jordan as. He was a very straight-forward and sometimes harsh, but overall good person who gave me time off when my own mental health issues arose. I ignored some snide and subtly condescending things he would say, mostly about others; I tried to ignore everything and focus on my job, which contributed to some of my mental breakdown. I left TATM in June while I was adjusting to anti-depressants and did not have the energy to run the site as I’d dreamed. Months later, the things I heard and saw online still make me sick to my stomach, and I’m unsure why I did not resign as soon as possible.
It has been several months since I worked with Jordan and I haven’t spoken to many members of the team since I left, until now, as MORE allegations are being made and more people have come forward. While I must reiterate that Jordan has never been sexually inappropriate with me, I cannot remain silent while these very serious allegations are denied by his fans and the remaining members of TATM.
This is the reality of heroizing someone and wanting to believe the best in people. Looking back, there were warning signs; there was mismanagement and lack of professionalism, allegations of emotional abuse, and several separate incidents that were sexual in nature, spanning over several months. Jordan enjoyed his role as the figurehead of the site, and he enjoyed that his paid and unpaid employees were formerly just fans of his. He felt safe and confident and completely in charge. This is an unfortunate pattern of behavior that has now happened to two entirely separate TATM teams, some of them being my colleagues and friends, and others being my successors who broke the most recent stories. The allegations have only become more serious over time and have now taken on new life. There’s even an individual in the thick of manipulative behavior as I type this, who is contradicting their resignation letter to me by denying their own allegations made against Jordan, as they’re still trying to protect him. This individual told several people that Jordan was a detriment to their emotional well-being because of their relationship and expressed concern for women left in his presence.
I’m just a writer from Florida who was in the right place at the right time, and had a chance at a “great opportunity.” I did make great friends, and those friends have been indescribably hurt by someone we all trusted. The events that transpired in the past several months have taken a huge toll on my emotional well-being, as none of this is easy to process in the slightest, and so I hope my experience can speak volumes to those who are denying this behavior. These women have nothing to gain except inner peace and justice. I was simply the recipient of information from several unrelated incidents as a colleague and friend. His accusers, even those I do not know personally, were just like you and me at one point in time, and this type of behavior can not be excused or ignored.
I hope the truth will come to light and that all parties can get the help they need to move on from this.