Eddy Cue throws a pen at Haunted Empire/Yukari Kane’s accuracy, says story isn’t true

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Tim Cook may have called the Haunted Empire book ‘nonsense’, but the derisive comments about the book from Apple executives do not end there. Personally, I found the pen-throwing anecdote too funny and decided to ask Cue whether it was true or not. I wasn’t really expecting a reply, but to my surprise he actually did.

I asked about the story’s truthfulness:

I am slightly obsessed with the anecdote about Jobs throwing a pen in your face. Is the story true?

Cue replied rather curtly:

No it’s not.

Hard to argue with a direct reply from Cue himself. The full extract from Haunted Empire can be seen below. You can find 9to5Mac‘s full review of Kane’s controversial book here.

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  1. PMZanetti - 9 years ago

    This book is falling apart at the seams.

  2. mockery17 - 9 years ago

    I never wanted to buy this book, but now I want… all copies of this book burned.

  3. crichton007 - 9 years ago

    Funny thing is that based on the legend of Steve Jobs this sounds like a very plausible story.

    • Scott Ribe - 9 years ago

      Why yes, it does fit right in with the LEGEND of Steve Jobs, just not the REALITY ;-)

    • James Champlin - 9 years ago

      If you’ve ever watched Gordon Ramsay, then you pretty much know how Jobs acted. I don’t hear about Ramsay throwing spoons at sous chefs.

  4. rogifan - 9 years ago

    Ok now you need to ask Ive about his alleged request for his own private plane. ;-)

  5. From: Eddie Cue
    To: Benjamin Mayo
    Subject: Re: Re: Pen Thrown In Your Face

    Actually, Ben, I have to apologize, I now remember the incident. We were all out on Jonny’s boat having a few drinks. Steve started going on about how cool stitched leather was and started scribbling a calendar layout. I told him skeuomorphism sucked and that’s when he threw the pen at me. Haha good times!

    From: Eddie Cue
    To: Benjamin Mayo
    Subject: Re: Pen Thrown In Your Face

    No it’s not.

    From: Benjamin Mayo
    To: Eddie Cue
    Subject: Pen Thrown In Your Face

    I am slightly obsessed with the anecdote about Jobs throwing a pen in your face. Is the story true?

  6. Montgomery Gabrys - 9 years ago

    Sounds like another writer hit the wall. Not since “Steve Jobs and the NeXT big thing” have I heard of a bigger pile of wrong in book form. I’d rather see a book from Espinosa. He’s had the longest tenure and would – even from a single person perspective – be a rich mine for stories and history since Andy Hertzfelds blog / book.

    • Hi, Montgomery. Thanks for the comment. A book from me will have to wait till I’m done, and I’m far from done. Till then I agree, Andy collected some of the best early-days stories.

      As for Kane, well, when your thesis is “Apple was Steve, Steve was Apple,” you’ll never get back on track. Apple did some astonishing things without Steve (HyperCard), and Steve did some amazing things without Apple (Pixar). The combination was something we may never see on this Earth for a while—but it had its down times as well (the Cube, Antennagate, etc.)

      Predictions are best done in retrospect.

  7. James Champlin - 9 years ago

    A good clue as to whether or not it’s true. Does Eddy Cue still work at Apple? Oh, of course he does!

    Proof that the story is a fabrication, due to the fact that nobody would stay at a place where a guy throws pens at you. That’s not really a second-chance sort of occurrence. Someone does it, and you leave because that isn’t acceptable.

    Jobs, while fiery, wasn’t physically abusive. I’m certain because that kind of shit doesn’t stay secret.

  8. Dan (@danmdan) - 9 years ago

    People will believe what they want to believe – if this story does not fit in with their reality, then it MUST be untrue. But frankly it sounds perfectly possible, but alas unprovable. There are many stories about Jobs, and some at least, knowing his character, must be true.

    • I also feel like the story could in principle be true. But still, what kind of “investigative journalism” is this if they didn’t even ask the persons involved if the story was true? “One version of the story” says the book, well, with that added in we might as well say : in one version of the story Jobs held Cue at gunpoint because of a discussion, and it ended in a mexican standoff with Ive. Whose version is that? Mine, I just made it up, but it’s A version of the story, so… Whatever it is, it’s bad journalism, and even if the rest of the book was all 100% true, the fact that he didn’t add a “Which Cue himself denies” makes all of it questionable at least, more like papparazi sensationalism than real journalism.

  9. aaronkrahn - 9 years ago

    Reblogged this on Aaron Krahn and commented:
    Glad it wasn’t true.


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Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.