May 18th, 2006


re: student journalist seeking interview

Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 13:43:04 -0700
From: Michael Zeleny
To: Marie-Jo Mont-Reynaud
Subject: Re: Student Journalist seeking Interview

Dear Marie-Jo,

I first met Min Zhu in 2004 during his deposition in my lawsuit against the Zhus and WebEx. My previous interactions with him were limited to passing his phone messages to Erin between 1991 and 1999, receiving anonymous death threats made in his name in 2001 and 2002, and calling him with notice of my restraining order application against future threats of that nature. Based on these interactions, my impression of Min Zhu is that he is an engineer who has a hard time telling a lie, and a harder time restraining his anger. As a result, he relies on salesmen and lawyers when called upon to tell the truth or to face the consequences of his anger. I think that WebEx owes its success in equal measure to his performance as its head of engineering, and to its necessary mediation and mitigation by salesmen and lawyers. I think that WebEx is having a hard time maintaining its standing now that Min Zhu can no longer be publicly associated with it.

I first met Erin by responding to her personal ad posted on the Usenet. She told me about her rape by Min after we exchanged emails and talked on the phone for a little over a month. Erin is good at adapting her conversation to her interests. She is not good at following through on her plans. She is good at dispensing valuable lessons to her former friends. She is not good at coping with regrets that ensue from these lessons.

I sued Erin in December of 2001 because she refused to honor our agreement that required her to buy out my interest in our business by repaying our creditors. I agreed to its terms in January of 2000 in lieu of suing her parents and WebEx for various contractual and delictual causes of action. I agreed to forgo my due in the hope of satisfying our obligations to other people and walking away from further dealings with the Zhus and WebEx. Things did not work out the way I planned. You can see the ensuing court documents online.

I believe that Erin is still married to Blixa Bargeld, and still serves as I hope that she never comes to rue the bargains that she struck in attaining her position. In this regard, the emails documenting her courtship have been very insructive.

You can probably reach Min Zhu via NEA. I think that your interest in your story cannot be served without making an attempt to contact both of them. You should also try calling Subrah Iyar and David Farrington at WebEx. But I doubt that any of them will talk to you.

I am doing just fine since all the trials and litigation. This whole episode has affected my life mainly by prompting me to concentrate its forces on what I enjoy best, which is the production of conrarian pedantry. I regret remaining uncertain about the causes of the fire responsible for my father's death. I resent WebEx's failure to settle our dispute with an apology for their role in covering up for Min Zhu. I am glad to have learned that what our friends do to other people, they will do to us. I am certain that future developments in this matter will bear out this prediction.

I am posting a copy of this letter to forestall misunderstandings. I am passing your contact information to other former associates of the Zhus and WebEx. Please feel free to ask further questions.

cordially, - Michael
7576 Willow Glen Road, Los Angeles, CA 90046 - 323.363.1860 -
All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. - Samuel Beckett wrote:
> Hi Mr. Zeleny,
> Thanks for your quick response. The questions I have to start are mostly
> about the allegations of sexual abuse against Mr. Zhu, and about his
> character in general.
> They are:
> When did you first meet Mr. Zhu and what were your initial interactions
> with him? What kind of person was he/did he come off as? What do you
> think of his work at WebEx? What do you think of WebEx as a company, and
> Mr. Zhu's role in its success?
> When did you first meet Erin, and what is she like?
> When did you first start hearing about the fact that Mr Zhu was abusing
> his daughter, and why is it that you decided to pursue litigation
> against him, rather than Erin?
> To the best of your knowledge:
> How is Erin doing now?
> How is Mr. Zhu doing now? and if you know of any way of contacting him
> as well, I would greatly appreciate it.
> Also, do you think it would be inappropriate and hurtful for me to
> contact Erin. From her postings, it seems like she is very open about
> talking about her past, but I don't want to cause her any unnecessary pain.
> Finally, how are you doing since all the trials and litigation? How has
> this whole episode affected your life?
> I realized there are a lot of questions so any responses you can give to
> the questions above would be extremely helpful.
> Thank you so much!
> - Marie-Jo Mont-Reynaud
> Michael Zeleny wrote:
>> Sure thing. Phone or email will work equally well.
>> cordially, -- Michael
>> 7576 Willow Glen Road, Los Angeles, CA 90046 -- 323.363.1860 --
>> All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try
>> again. Fail again. Fail better. -- Samuel Beckett
>> wrote:
>>> Hi Mr. Zeleny,
>>> My name is Marie-Jo Mont-Reynaud, and I am a junior at Stanford
>>> University. I am currently in a course on business reporting for
>>> which I am following WebEx throughout the quarter. One of the
>>> stories I'm writing is a profile of Mr. Min Zhu, for which I was
>>> hoping to interview you (by phone/email). Could you let me know if
>>> you would be interested/available, and if so, what would be the best
>>> way to contact you?
>>> Thank you very much for your help!
>>> - Marie-Jo
>>> Stanford University
>>> Class of '07