Seagen CEO Clay Siegall was arrested in the early hours of April 23 at his home and charged with a fourth degree domestic violence gross misdemeanor, according to police records obtained by GeekWire.
More than three weeks after the arrest, Seagen announced Monday that Siegall was taking a leave of absence as the publicly traded Seattle biotech company investigates allegations of domestic violence. The company did not mention the arrest in its announcement.
According to the police records, officers responded to a call on April 23 from Siegall’s wife, who told 911 dispatch that her husband was hurting her and pushed her to the floor at the couple’s 11,663 square-foot home near Seattle in Woodway, Wash. She told the dispatch she was afraid for her life, but also said “please leave and go away,” and “he’ll go crazy, he’s a public figure.”
Police arrived at the front door and Siegall’s wife was completely naked, the police records say. Officers observed abrasions on her forehead and knees. Another man, who was at the home with his own wife, also called police and said he witnessed Siegall assaulting his wife.
Both Siegall and his wife appeared intoxicated, according to the police report. The other man said all parties involved had sexual relations after going out to dinner earlier in the evening.
Siegall told police he never touched his wife, the police report said. Officers established probable cause for domestic violence and arrested Siegall, who was booked in Snohomish County Jail.
A summary of jail calls between Siegall and his wife shows that a day after the arrest, Siegall “thanked her for the possibility that he may get fired and that she may have ruined his career.” Siegall was released on April 25.
That same day, Siegall’s wife went to the Edmonds Police Department and requested photographs of her bruises from the incident, according to a report from an officer who took the photographs.
Siegall led Seagen’s earnings call with analysts on April 28. On May 5, the company’s board appointed Seagen’s chief medical officer Roger Dansey as interim CEO, according to a regulatory filing. It issued a press release May 9 announcing Siegall’s leave of absence due to the incident at his home.
Siegall, 61, has denied allegations and informed the company that he is engaged in a divorce.
“Seagen has high standards for employee conduct and condemns domestic violence in all its forms,” the company in a statement emailed to GeekWire on Wednesday. “We are treating these allegations with the utmost seriousness. Dr. Siegall remains on a leave of absence while the company’s board of directors, led by a committee of independent directors, conducts a thorough investigation with the assistance of an independent law firm. The board’s future decisions will be informed by the outcome of the investigation.”
GeekWire has contacted Seagen to ask when the company learned of Siegall’s arrest.
Siegall has been Seagen’s CEO since he co-founded the company, previously known as Seattle Genetics, in 1998. The company’s first oncology drug, Adcetris, was approved in 2011, and it now has four commercial products and employs 2,800 people in the Seattle area, Canada, Switzerland, and Europe. Its market capitalization is $22 billion.
Umoja Biopharma on Wednesday announced that Siegall resigned as chair of the board in response to a request from the company’s board of directors, according to a statement. Umoja CEO Andy Scharenberg will serve as interim board chair.
GeekWire Managing Editor Taylor Soper contributed to this story.