Audiotree co-founder accused of setting up hidden cameras to take nude photos

A civil suit has been filed against the Chicago label and venue owner

Michael Johnston, co-founder of Chicago-based label Audiotree, has been accused of videotaping and photographing nude images of his children’s nanny using hidden cameras.

NBC 5 Chicago reported that a civil suit had been filed against Johnston and his wife Kelly Halverson by the nanny and another woman – named as Jane Doe and Julie Doe in the court filing. Gail Eisenberg, a lawyer for the two women, noted that Jane worked for the couple as a home manager, child caretaker, and personal assistant, while Julie was also employed as a nanny for the couple’s friends.

In January 2020, the women were reportedly asked to house-sit for the couple, but as Jane was undressing she alleges she found a hidden camera. She then claims that she discovered two additional cameras, one in a bathroom disguised as an iPhone dock charger and another in a bedroom she was using.

“My life is forever changed because of what they did to me,” Jane Doe said in a statement via her lawyer. “I hope that by speaking out about this I can empower other survivors to do the same.”

Johnston’s attorney Damon Cheronis has said in a statement that his client “takes these allegations seriously and will continue to work through the appropriate legal process.”

Johnston, who is also the owner of Chicago venues including Schubas and Lincoln Hall, co-founded Audiotree in 2011 with Adam Thurston. Following news of the allegations, the company released a statement announcing that Johnston has been “removed as President & CEO of Audiotree, Audiotree Presents, Lincoln Hall, Schubas, and Tied House.” The company also noted that he is “no longer a part of the Audiotree team”.

Advertisement
Advertisement