On Tuesday evening, Jon "Orange" Westberg, a long-time competitive player and content creator within the Hearthstone community announced on Twitter that he had received a one-year suspension from the game's competitive scene due to "a mistake in my past, one which I take full accountability for," according to his post.
Orange shared an updated, more detailed statement on the matter on Wednesday afternoon. In it, Orange announced he will be stepping away from the game's scene to work on himself, acknowledged the severity of the accusations, and says not all of them are true.
According to court documents obtained by Inven Global, Orange was charged in April 2019 with one count of sexual harassment and another for a minor offense of drug use during an April 2018 incident in Borås, Sweden involving a woman whose identity remains confidential. He accepted a plea deal and had to pay for legal costs and a fine of SEK 5000 (approx. $500) to the victim.
A rape charge was dismissed by a judge.
Court case details
According to court documents, Orange met with fellow Hearthstone community member Vera Laursen and her friend, the Plaintiff, on the weekend of April 13, 2018. The trio, alongside former Hearthstone player Martin "MartinCreek" Bäcklund (Orange's roommate at the time), hung out, consumed alcohol, and became inebriated.
Over the course of the night, all parties fell asleep. Later, the victim awoke in Orange's bed — without clear recollection how she got from the living room to Orange's bedroom — with him touching her breasts under her bra, something both Orange and the plaintiff corroborated. An investigation (including witness statements from all four parties involved) found that the victim did not reveal any indication that she was interested in any kind of sexual act or closer intimacy with Orange, resulting in a violation of her sexual integrity, hence the sexual harassment charges.
The victim further claimed that the first time she woke up, Orange was touching her abdomen and vagina — claims that Orange denied during questioning — but lack of evidence prevented the accusations from being substantiated as alcohol played a role in all parties' memory of the night. The rape charge was dismissed on those grounds.
When reached for comment on Westberg's one-year ban from the game's competitive scene, Blizzard Entertainment issued the following statement: "We do not discuss internal eligibility decisions."
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.