Who is Michael Johnston? CEO fired for recording nannies undressing at home

Record label CEO faces legal and professional problems after being kicked out of his arrest. Michael Johnston, who co-founded Audiotree, was arrested on November 9 for allegedly recording two nannies without their consent. The two women filed a lawsuit claiming that Johnston and his wife had installed several cameras in their Chicago home disguised as ordinary household items, which they only discovered after being asked to guard the house for a second time.

Johnston is not the only person to be arrested for such an incident. In mid-October, an Amazon driver in Massachusetts was arrested for dressing as a girl and filming women in a shopping mall washroom. Earlier in April, the NYPD was sued by a woman who claimed that a cop had filmed her during their one-night stand. In December 2020, a perverted stepdad was caught filming his daughter bathing for years, which earned him a time in jail.

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Johnston is currently considering a possible stay in prison, as well as at least $ 270,000 in damages per woman. He was first pursued by women in September, but was not arrested until November 9. A week later, Audiotree decided to part ways with him.

Who is Michael Johnston?

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

According to a report, the elder Johnston is a wealthy investor in the city, but nothing else could be found about him. Johnston’s mother is Ronda Stryker, who currently runs the medical device company Stryker Corp, founded by her grandfather. Johnston would sit on the board of directors of the Stryker Johnston Foundation, which works to eliminate “intergenerational poverty in Kalamazoo County”.

Johnston and his wife Kelly Halverson are believed to own an 8,000 square foot home in Roscoe Village and have two children who are in need of a nanny. This led them to hire the two nannies, freshly graduated from DePaul University and roommates.

Cameras placed on ordinary objects

A woman, identified as Jane Doe, was hired in December 2019, around the same time as the other known as Julie. Both were asked to keep the house first in January 2020, when the Johnston’s went on vacation. They were encouraged to use the master bedroom and hot tub and to “help themselves” with the alcohol. “While guarding the house, and without their knowledge or consent, the Johnston’s secretly filmed Julie and Jane undressing and bathing, using spy cameras they had hidden in the bathroom and elsewhere “, their complaints.

In February 2020, when asked to sit down again, the duo found several cameras disguised as “ordinary household items,” including one in a photo frame looking directly at the tub. The lawsuit also claims that Jane was asked to organize a box full of sex toys, which she says “thinks it was part of a grooming process.” The Johnston’s no longer appear to be living in their Roscoe Village home and instead moved to the suburbs, where Chicago police found the videos of the women.

He appeared in court on November 10 for a felony and is now out on bail. Two days later, Audiotree announced that they were firing Johnston from his role. So far, Kelly has not been charged. The women are suing Johnston for invasion of privacy, emotional distress and sexual harassment.

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