Do we still have to lean in if Dave Goldberg is dead?

After three days of silence on the cause of death for Dave Goldberg, the New York Times has changed their story in the span of seven hours, some mysterious source said collapsed while exercising. Then a leak to the Associated Press said head trauma. If we were in an Agatha Christie mystery, I’d say heart attack.

But we are in the real world, and I don’t believe any of it.

My uncle committed suicide. His son hid in the closet while my uncle shot himself in the head. His son saw everything.

I didn’t know this until 20 years later. Everyone in my family thought the uncle had a heart attack shoveling snow. Every time my dad went out to shovel snow, my mom would say, “Be careful! I don’t want you to have a heart attack.”

The first thing my brother did when he saw my post about Dave Goldberg killing himself was send a reminder of our uncle. We still can’t believe how long the family thought he died shoveling snow. Family secrets are powerful. And effective.

So it seems pretty easy to me for Dave’s family to tell everyone a lie.

A reporter from CNN called me this morning. He asked me what the motive would be for Sheryl to lie about the cause of death.

Are you kidding me? The fact that CNN can’t dream up a motive really blows my mind.

Sheryl has made her husband, Dave, the role model for the perfect husband. She has said many times that the most important factor in her success was the husband she chose. And as late a week ago, she was saying that men need to do more, they are not doing enough, they need to take more responsibility. And, again, she held up her husband as an example.

It’s hard to be put in the spotlight as the world’s best dad and world’s best husband. Dave had one of the hardest roles in public life to maintain. He was CEO of a company where the investors were dumping stock, and Sheryl made people believe Dave was perfect – a poster boy for the family guy.

So then, I would like to know why was he on vacation in Mexico without Sheryl and without the kids? What was it a vacation from? Who was he with?

Why was Sheryl in DC instead of going to get the body? Why was Sheryl in DC instead of home with her kids? Why does Dave take a vacation when Sheryl is scheduled to be gone?

I wouldn’t ask so many questions except that Sheryl keeps telling me to lean in, but she doesn’t tell me how she does it. I ended up spending my 401K on household help, scaling back my career, and taking my kids on business trips that were magical at first and a bore thereafter.

Sheryl tells me she can lean in because she has a husband who is perfect, but it’s hard to believe because in the time she’s been married to him, he’s gained a lot of weight. And we all know that gaining that much weight is a sign of serious problems.

She tells me she and her husband try to make sure one of them is home with the kids, but it’s not what we have seen in the last five days. She doesn’t tell us if she has nannies. She doesn’t tell us how often she is away from her kids.  All she tells us is that leaning in depends on her husband.

So can she lean in now? Can you lean in if you don’t have the perfect husband? What if it’s too late to get the perfect husband? She doesn’t address that, but maybe she will now. I have a feeling that the spokesperson for high-flying careers is going to get a lot more informative and helpful now that she’s a single mom. All the money in the world can’t buy a substitute for a parent showing up to kiss a skinned knee.

But first she needs to stop misleading us. It’s misleading to refuse to talk about how much household help she has. It’s misleading to not talk about what she gives up with her kids, since all decisions in life are about choosing what to give up. It’s misleading to tell us she has a perfect husband and not address the cause of his huge weight gain.

Most of all, it’s misleading to ignore pleas for the cause of death for three days and then come up with something that is pretty difficult to confirm. And I can tell you, coming from a family of people who are misleading, that it’s a way of life once you start.

That doesn’t justify waiting three days to announce cause of death, and it doesn’t justify the misinformation she’s been spreading the last three years to push her own agenda.

That said I’m not sure it matters anymore how Dave died. Maybe he did die of a heart attack. It’s a fine line between a heart attack and a suicide. Heart attack is purely a disease of lifestyle. It is preventable. So Dave Goldberg died from a being totally out of control in his life from stress, or he died from depression that got out of control. Either way, Sheryl and Dave had nowhere near the perfect marriage that we heard about nonstop from Sheryl.

What matters is that we might all get relief from Sheryl painting a picture of the perfect family, refusing to divulge pertinent information about how that family actually works, and shaming everyone who do not lean in the way she does.

Arianna Huffington is on a book tour right now telling women to forget about having it all and instead get some sleep. I have a feeling that Sheryl will be on a book tour in similar fashion. But, like Arianna, Sheryl will have to wait until her kids go to college, because taking care of kids is a lot of work.

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  1. genspec
    genspec says:

    You are a sick person. Everything you’ve speculated about is wrong. It’s all about you. Seek help now.

    • penelopecrazy
      penelopecrazy says:

      Wow… she writes one lie about Sandberg and then just makes up a bunch more, Sandberg was on Paid Time Off on vavaction in Mexico with him there is no cover up and no suicide. Besides seriously who goes on vacation with their family to commit suicide?

      Ok we get it Penelope is a little sick in the head like her uncle.

      Penelope, you aren’t Sandberg and you lives aren’t the same and Sandbergs husband didn’t commit suicide like your uncle. Take your meds now.

      • Carla Smith
        Carla Smith says:

        Penelope is not a sick person. She is simply going public with doubts many of us have. Yes, first the media said Dave Goldberg was abroad and wife was in DC, but Marc Z of Facebook said they were together in Mexico. First it was a sudden death, then death after exercise, then death during exercise – fell off the treadmill at 4 pm and was not found until around 7 pm by his brother, in the gym of the Four Seasons hotel, a hotel that denies Dave Goldberg was a guest. Something is fishy, it sounds imo as if the family is trying to cover up the true cause of death.

        • jd
          jd says:

          Give it a rest, Carla. You’re splitting hairs to try to create your own story and failing dismally. Sheryl may or may have been in Mexico (which is obviously “abroad”) but certainly his “family” was as was reported. The Four Seasons, obviously, as a matter of policy does not comment on private guest information. Are you really concerned that a report might have said during and another after? Even technically they are probably right and you are wrong. The blunt force was during and the death after. And it was sudden, obviously. Don’t be a troll.

          • Perspective
            Perspective says:

            This is simple. Adrienne (Penelope Trubk) has confirmed various media reports that she has an unusually large readership among the aspergers community. Unfortunately, the comments here are lacking in empathy and irrationally literal. Carla and other commenters seem completely unable to fathom that initial media reports may have been inaccurate and speculative due to the lack of any official press releases from the family.
            It’s a disconnect in empathy or social understanding. Nothing more.
            The rest of us feel great sadness for the goldbergs and sandbergs because we understand that the randomness of human life and tardiness of human communication are just part of the way the world works.

        • M
          M says:

          Initial reports said while OVERSEAS. Mexico is not overseas. I agree that the report has been odd from the start. Changing information and information that doesn’t add up. Why does it matter? It doesn’t. To each his own. But it does create suspicion. I find it ironic that the CEO of Facebook, which stole the notion of privacy for everyone, is requesting privacy for herself. We’ all like some privacy!!!

          • DL
            DL says:

            This is simply solved: If you don’t like Facebook’s invasion of your privacy, don’t open a Facebook account. No one’s forcing you to expose yourself.

          • Someone Smart
            Someone Smart says:

            Every breaking news story is chock full of information that later gets changed. Have you ever seen something as non-controversial as a fire or car ax? First the fire is at such and such address, then it’s two blocks down. First it broke out at 5pm, then quarter after four. First the red car was a Mazda and the blue car a Toyota. Then the red car was a Toyota and the blue car a Mazda. Then it wasn’t a blue car, it was purple. Etc. I’d be more suspicious if everything was perfect from the start. Having worked in the news business a long time, I know how facts get misreported–on every story.

        • Hitlery Clintoon
          Hitlery Clintoon says:

          When Mrs. Goldberg decided to make a public spectacle of herself and her husband, and her husband dies “suddenly” under less than clear circumstances, questions will be asked. I do not understand the level of vitriolic hatred towards Penelope Trunk, who dared to ask these questions. Ok maybe it wasn’t suicide but it still very strange and something isn’t right about the alleged sequence of events. It’s still very suspicious. So Mr. Goldberg defied the laws of gravity to fall backwards off a treadmill at 4 PM in a luxury resort where there are always attendants to lie unnoticed in a pool of blood for 3 hours before being discovered by his brother. Or he had a heart attack. Or an irregular heart. Since Ms. Trunk generously allows posters to use any name they chose, I wonder how many of the hateful posts are by one or two people who are working on behalf of the “family” trying to get this post eliminated. PT was very respectful, even apologetic, but she asked pertinent questions while the NY Times and NBC were still taking dictation from the Goldberg/Sandberg media relations department.

      • Carla Smith
        Carla Smith says:

        The hotel denies Sandberg and Goldberg were guests there! It was in a CNN article published this morning

        • Wake Up
          Wake Up says:

          Get with it, Carla. They were at a private resort BESIDE the Four Seasons called Palmasola. It’s a privately owned and managed compound with several buildings, 9 bedrooms and includes a small gym. Look, (the internet is your friend)

          That would be why the Four Seasons denied they were staying on their premises, b/c they WEREN’T! Imagine the American media got it wrong. Say it ain’t so!

          • M
            M says:

            What is your vested interest? Take a chill pill and don’t read the blog if it upsets you so.

        • Torina Collis
          Torina Collis says:

          I have the email from the hotel confirming they did not stay there. Contact the hotel directly and they will email you as well.

    • Pushing Daisies
      Pushing Daisies says:

      Penelope is an incredibly sick person! I can’t believe people give this Internet troll any attention or legitimacy. She’s like a one-woman sleazy tabloid – worse than TMZ! (At least TMZ bases their superficiality and speculation with evidence.)

    • Jaz
      Jaz says:

      I am genuinely shocked at the horrendous, horrendous callousness of this woman. I saw her mentioned in an article as an important female figure in the tech industry and came to the blog to find a new mentor, but I am so saddened by this brainless, heartless attention-seeking on a man’s death and a woman’s grief.

      Oh, and Penelope – Sheryl was the number one important female figure in aforementioned article, and I’m sure she didn’t do that writing sick posts about you. Shame.

  2. PJ
    PJ says:

    Penelope is just saying what many are thinking. She is not sick — she is brave.

    Women too often are quick to tear each other down. I don’t see it that way, here.

    You have a woman, Sheryl Sandberg, who has held up her life as a model and has created a national movement around that. This woman has profited off of holding her life up as a model.

    Many moms have suspected there’s a fundamental flaw in Ms. Sandberg’s advice. And a mysterious husband death deserves to be questioned.

    Remember, Ms. Sandberg’s product is life advice, via her book and her Lean In organization activities. Questioning the wisdom of that life advice is just saying, “buyer beware,” on the philosophy behind it.

    It bugs me how we can’t have frank discussion anymore in this country. The politically correct crowd is so quick to shut down debate.

    It’s not heartless to question Sheryl’s life advice after there’s been a big change in the story.

    P.Trunk is brave, in my book.

    • Connie
      Connie says:

      I agree! Penelope Trunk is very brave to stand up and say what many of us think. Sheryl Sandberg has the media totally manipulated as little bits of conflicting information are doled out to the compliant a$$ kissing media. Why so many haters trying to shut her up. Mrs Goldberg has everyone else in her back pocket. If you don’t like what Ms. Trunk has to say go to Huff Post or NY Times.

      • Carla Smith
        Carla Smith says:

        Yes and the media, in the same article, reports that Dave Goldberg had a gym/treadmill fatal accident at the Four Seasons Hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and in that same article, they mention how the hotel denies Dave Goldberg was a guest in any of their facilities

        • Jay
          Jay says:

          Clearly, “Anna” you’re the one with the mental health issues and is out of touch with reality. Here you are posting psychotic rants online, swearing at and threatening a complete stranger, wish them physical harm. Why? Because you don’t like their opinions? Seriously? Something is really, really wrong with you. Please seek help.

          • HDL
            HDL says:

            It is quite something to see– adults, presumably, near gleeful that a person has lost her spouse, because now they do not have to feel jealous of her. One person said he had been “waiting” for something like this to happen! Waiting? And then the suggestion that people were paid off to lie about where this happened because there were initially conflicting reports, as if the media and spokespeople are not known for getting stories wrong during the first phase of reporting and having to do corrections. And until they did the autopsy they did not, in fact, know why he died. People who are or fat, young or old can have cardiac arrhythmia, which he had. It has nothing to do with his wife “leanng in”.

          • M
            M says:

            HDL, attributing negative motives – jealousy – is what is childish. The odd manner of the reporting creates suspicion. No one is happy someone died because they are jealous. It IS possible to feel very badly about this untimely death, to have compassion for Ms. Sandburg and her two young children and yet wonder what the truth is. Maybe people are just fed up with being lied to.

    • Jenny Washington
      Jenny Washington says:

      Says Penelope “And I can tell you, coming from a family of people who are misleading, that it’s a way of life once you start.”

      For your own mental health out there – don’t use any of the services on this site, this blogger is one sick and nasty lying puppy.

      That’s about the only truthful thing in this article concerning Sandberg. Penelope keeps trying to lie her way out of the fact Sandbergs husband simply tripped and knocked his head on the way down, unlucky, but not due to suicide or even weight related heart attack.

      • Jessica
        Jessica says:

        It just doesn’t make sense that ‘freak accident’ wouldn’t be immeadietly reported. Like the Google guy and the earthquake. Some sort of damage control is being played around the ‘incident’.

        • Gerald Bran
          Gerald Bran says:

          So we all walk around with press reports ready in case our spouse dies in a freak accident? Of course not. If there had been a ready response that is actually what would have been weird.

          • Jessica
            Jessica says:

            You and I? No we don’t. No one cares except our immediete friends and family. BUT If I had a whole business around the idea that my husband and I are ‘super people.’ You bet I would make sure damage control was done to preserve the image. It doesn’t make them heartless, it makes them who they are- ‘business first, personal second.’ Also, he is CEO of an uncertain company- there is no way they’d let what P is speculating out in the open. There’s more interests than the family in this situation, which btw is what this family chose. People on this thread are taking a situation that is nonpersonal to personal heights.

        • Carla Smith
          Carla Smith says:

          Yes, I just read that right now: so first it was a sudden death, then collapse after exercising, then during exercising at Four Seasons, and a day after the Four Seasons denies the Goldbers were their guests, they say they were at a private place.. It seems weird that the story keeps changing so much. In Mexico you can bribe anyone to say anything. There was also an article on the NYT where a doctor said the death as described (treadmill) is very very rare, especially for a young person.

          • Carla Smith
            Carla Smith says:

            “There were just 30 reported deaths related to use of treadmills from 2003 to 2012, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of about three a year, far fewer than the number of people who were struck by lightning and died.

            “This is very uncommon,” said Dr. Charles Lawrence, chairman of the department of emergency medicine at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn.”

            “doctors of emergency and sports medicine said that injuries from falls on machines were rare, and that the vast majority of injuries from sports equipment were related to overuse — for example, an injured tendon from a long run on a treadmill.”

            “Exercise can cause heart problems to surface, for example, and it is possible that something like that caused Mr. Goldberg to fall. Dr. Robert Shesser, the chairman of the department of emergency medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, said he occasionally sees cases of people who die suddenly while exercising. The causes vary. Sometimes it is a genetic abnormality of the heart that no one knew about and sometimes it is chronic coronary disease, aggravated by poor diet and little exercise.”


    • Jp
      Jp says:

      Penelope is a sick, disturbed and misinformed person.
      Who made her an expert on heart disease? It is a lifestyle choice? Tell that to four generations in my family who suffer from hypercholerestomy including my 11 year old skinny daughter.
      Fuck you.

      • Nancy
        Nancy says:

        There’s a quiet compassion in this article. It’s not easy to see, but it’s there. “I know what it is to lie about a loved one’s death. I know what it is to pretend. It eats away at you. It’s not good, no matter how many problems it allows you to avoid. We need to say this and stop pretending, or we go crazy.”

        As a half-Aspie married to an Aspie, parent of an Aspie, daughter of an Aspie, I can say for certain that Aspies see the truth as the main consolation and a comfort — a freeing from the burden of untruth. This may not match “normal” expectations of compassion, which is always based around white lies and emotional appeasement, but that’s why we have Aspies — to give the other gift.

        • thatgirl
          thatgirl says:

          I tried (and perhaps failed) to express just this within the comments on Penelope’s first post about Goldberg’s death. You’ve captured this better than I could, Nancy!

        • Scott Anderson
          Scott Anderson says:

          There no compassion here. She questions why Sheryl wasn’t in Mexico with her husband – except she was. She says that he either killed himself or had a heart attack – except he didn’t. She finds it odd that the hotel hasn’t heard of him and says it didn’t happen anywhere that they manage – because they were staying in a privately owned home in PM with its own gym. So sorry that Sheryl didn’t make herself available to answer all the questions her biggest fan, this insane blogger, NEEDED to know in order to not besmirch her and her dead husband. How silly of Sheryl. She should have anticipated your need to know since you two are so close, right? You are a bad, bad person who chose to profit off a tragedy to drive traffic to your pathetic little enterprise. Your eyes glow so green with jealousy that you cannot see how utterly in the wrong you are being. I need to shower after reading this level of manure.

          • Casey
            Casey says:

            If she was with her husband why didn’t she wonder where he was all that time? The statements are carefully avoiding saying she was in Mexico, so I think we can assume she was not.

      • Natasha
        Natasha says:

        Oh yeah, hypercholo whatever sounds REALLY common. I am sure that the majority of heart attack cases are from people with rare conditions, and not people who cannot be bothered to control their diets or exercise.

        • Mark
          Mark says:

          Familial Hypercholesterolemia is the most common genetic disorder, occurring in around 1 in 500 people worldwide. In families which carry the disorder it occurs as frequently as 1 in 2 members.

          It is, quite simply, a genetic disposition to highly elevated blood cholesterol, and is associated with coronary heart disease, as you might expect. Diet is not effective to lower cholesterol to acceptable levels. Modern cholesterol-reducing drugs may help.

          So it is quite common, can be devastating in families where it occurs, and you are an ignorant and callous person without even the most basic Google skills.

          • natasha
            natasha says:

            Enlighten me Mark. What percentage of heart attack cases are due to hypercholerestomy? You quote some very convenient stats – 1 in 2 in families that carry the gene.

          • natasha
            natasha says:

            Also I am sick of everyone taking everything so personally.

            Because Penelope points out someone gains a lot of weight and that leads to heart disease everyone with a genetic disorder comes out with their pitchforks.

            Please next time a Dr tells you to exercise and watch your weight tell her that she is ignorant and lacks Google skills.

    • Natasha
      Natasha says:

      Agree. Penelope is brave.

      Having a spouse die is incredibly tragic. But it does not, by any means, vault Sheryl into sainthood.

      I feel for Sheryl, the person.

      I do not feel for Sheryl, the product.

    • Emmanuel
      Emmanuel says:

      Correct, if you market yourself as a high profile, perfect role model, then people should also be allowed to question and discuss openly what happens if life’s events are less favorable. It are two sides of the coin. While Penelope is very direct in her wording, I agree that thousands of parents struggle everyday with balancing career and private lives: these people deserve to know the reality wether it conforms to the “perfect picture” that Sandberg has been marketing or not. And thus said, we all feel very sorry and compasionate with that family.

    • Stephka Brown
      Stephka Brown says:

      Hey PJ – do you think Sheryl has benefitted more from selling her book in which she’d like to encourage women to achieve more or her Facebook salary and stock?

      As a person who traded Facebook and made a pretty penny off just a few hundred stocks vs Sheryls million + shares of FB thats where the bread and butter come from.

      Oh so she wanted to help women in the workforce strive for more. She should definitely rot in hell.

      PLEASE – what have all the rest of you done with your lives? Seriously what have you achieved?

      • Casey
        Casey says:

        So you think Sheryl is better that all the proles who lost their privacy thanks to facebook and she deserves to cover up her billionaire CEO husbands death any way she pleases? Why is she so deserving of privacy yet feels facebook users do not deserve the same (for example the ability to approve tagged photos before they appear on everyone’s newsfeeds rather than the useless ‘solution’ of removing the tag after everyone has shared the photo).

        • Perspective
          Perspective says:

          Seriously, anyone who uses the word “proles” as common vocabulary is nothing more than a troll. And probably a teenage one, at that.

    • SiliValley
      SiliValley says:

      Penelope is brave to discuss this. Some people have said they saw Sheryl in DC Friday. Was she there or in Mexico? I agree not saying anything about a death of a public figure for 3 days is mysterious. Then the media all come with the same story Monday morning he died while exercising, then late Monday there’s a new revelation of “major head trauma.” It’s all very sad of course for the family.
      But the real story is Ms. Sandberg wants to be President one day. She knows what it takes to succeed in politics and skeletons in the closet are dangerous.
      I’m not saying he did committ suicide but the changing stories, murkiness and how the media jumps on anonymous stories as definitive sources without asking questions looks like some sort of coverup.
      Remember Facebook is one of the world’s major media companies and they all have powerful friends with unlimited money and influence. So to think a story could be modified, invented, staged or a Mexican official paid off – nah, it couldn’t happen…. Please.

      PT is at least ASKING these questions. That is responsible in a democracy. Otherwise we are led by the 0.001% and that is called a dictatorship or oligopoly.

        • Jay
          Jay says:

          Actually, what’s really creepy here are some of the violent and weird responses people are having to this discussion. It’s creepy how these same people just drink the Kool-Aid and expect others to do the same. It’s even more creepy that they don’t seem to know how to think critically, or even for themselves for that matter, but attack others who do. It’s way more than creepy that these same people insult others in an attempt to stop them from simply asking questions or expressing opinions they don’t agree with.

    • Jodi
      Jodi says:

      Penelope is not brave; she merely lacks a filter and is very disturbed. Read up on her history. The worst thing is, she gets off on any attention, positive or negative, and I kind of hate myself for even replying here.

    • Kevin
      Kevin says:

      She’s not brave, she’s trying to get more clicks. And doing so at the expense of someone who piqued her ire, apparently.

      She has NOTHING substantive. He gained weight? Which “we all know” is a big sign of nothing in particular. And her claims to the contrary are an appeal to a logical fallacy.

      Yellow journalism at it’s trashiest.

  3. Ann
    Ann says:

    The “you can have it all” myth has been around since I was in the MBA program at a well-known school over 25 years agi. I don’t understand the reasons behind perpetuating this myth.
    It feels like the myth has had a resurgence in the past few years. What keeps it going, other than book tours and the fame of being published?
    It is time to get over the fantasy of having it all.

    • Lisa
      Lisa says:

      You really wonder why its happening again? I have several Masters degrees, and leaned in for all the 1990s and the first 5 years of the 200s, and now I have two kids, STOP! It is NOT possible- My mother, who is 70 and the first woman in her family to earn a Masters STILL Perpetuates this myth- even though she can see, from me having her only grandchildren WHY I skidded to a near stop career wise. They( older women) have a LOT invested in what they did- they are the instigators of the philosophy that if you do not have it all, it must be a man or men’s fault. ALSO- business wants us in there too, in order to keep wages flatter! We compete with one another and with men for the very limited pool of higher paying jobs. Do the math. Less dollars, and more competition results in what? Even lower wages and fewer jobs. Ta Da! Lean in my foot. Idiot.

      • JP
        JP says:

        I wish there were a like button too! Personally, I think women (or people) should re-evaluate what “having it all” really means to them. I’m 43 and not married, and don’t have kids. I’m really cute too so it’s not like I couldn’t make it happen:) On top of that, I have a good job but don’t feel the need to dominate others with some power position. I mean, with global warming and exponential global population growth, it’s likely we will be the last happy humans on this earth. Enjoy yourself and our limited time, and help others who ALREADY EXIST.

      • Kelly Matheson
        Kelly Matheson says:

        Great comment and reply, agreed! We should all admit our weariness to those overly ambitious hodads continually trying to impress by flexing their biceps, or pumped cleavage, on how to Lean In. Maybe Leaning In is easy for the top 1%ers. HEY, to the 99%ers – STOP blowing the 1%ers, buying their books and listening to their media stories is their benefit, not ours.

      • Tatyana
        Tatyana says:

        I actually looked for the “like” button. This is how much I related to your post and the tone of it)

      • thatgirl
        thatgirl says:


        Thanks, sister. It’s everything I’ve failed to explain to people, ad nauseam.

  4. Jack
    Jack says:

    I find it interesting how we’re all so interested in other people’s business. Human nature, I suppose.

    All I know is as a new parent it’s impossible to have it all, just as you said. There’s not enough time in the day to work inane hours, raise a family, stay connected with your loved ones, and stay healthy. Something always has to give.

    Anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you something.

    • Jessica
      Jessica says:

      Like a book. Or a lifestyle product. Or a lifestyle organization with products. Or a speech fee.

  5. Jana Miller
    Jana Miller says:

    Too soon…it might be good to give this some time. You know I love you and your blog so much…Just sayin. His children and children’s friends will be reading this. I don’t think this adds anything to the conversation that you started earlier on your other post.

    • John
      John says:

      Agree completely. Regardless of the intentions behind the questions — the timing, cadence, and depth of your posts on the subject are in very poor taste. Sure, Sheryl Sandberg is a high profile public figure, and in that domain alone the questions may be valid. But for goodness sake, give it some time and give it a rest. Keeping this up will only make you look snide and vindictive against a grieving widow and her young children, especially if what we’re hearing now about an accidental cause of death holds true.

      • Perspective
        Perspective says:

        Penelope Trunk is desperate. Hail Mary pass for attention and page views. She lost career and cultural relevance right around the time she disclosed her tax evasion/fake marriage/abusive relationship/self destructive issues.

    • Fb
      Fb says:

      Agreed. Give her a year or so to learn to live with her loss and then, if she still keeps up a public profile, you can question how to lean in as a single parent.

      And she is upfront about using help – in her book she describes one of her kids hurting themselves playing and going straight to the nanny for comfort.

    • Casey
      Casey says:

      Pretty sure her young children and their friends do not read blogs. In fact I was curious as to how old her kids are, and found exactly zero information or photos on the internet. How bizarre is that in the age of facebook? Screw these facebook execs who feel they are above the rest of humanity. This will never be forgotten, if she does have political ambitions the issue will come up again and again. It is beyond belief that she has convinced most of her supporters that she was actually in Mexico with her husband when she clearly was not.

      • Wow
        Wow says:

        Given that the very few pictures of Dave Goldberg lead insane bloggers to conclude he’s far and therefore either committed suicide (??) or self-induced a heart arrhythmia because of his wife’s workload… I think one can understand why there are few pictures of the children.

        • Casey
          Casey says:

          Correction: there are zero pictures of her kids or the family. Creepy. And only pictures of her husband wearing nametags are being used to celebrate his life-weird. Seriously who else has that kind of control over their image? And if privacy is so important to them why can’t they extend the courtesy and respect Fb users privacy demands?

  6. Liz
    Liz says:

    Penelope, these ad hominem attacks aren’t just mean; they’re ghoulish. Mexican officials confirmed that the cause of death was head trauma:

    Perhaps the man was just jetlagged and overheated and had an unlucky fall.

    Either way, these posts are over the top. I don’t think the “Lean In” advice works for 95% of women, but I definitely believe in the message of picking the right husband. By all accounts, Dave Goldberg was the person who Sheryl described — she didn’t have to make anything up about him.

    Why is it so important to you to hurt someone who merely disagrees with you?

    • Arenee
      Arenee says:

      Oh boy, I think the link that Liz posted kind of shuts this all down. Whoops! I hope that we can all be sensitive to others who are experiencing loss, no matter how flawed their philosophy or business strategy might be. Clearly, this woman has lost her husband which is tragic and completely disorientating to say the least. Peace, light and love to her and especially her children — this is just plain awful. Penelope, this was not a good strategy to get traffic or attention onto you or your site. Not sure what motivated a green light for you to move on these posts…I’m super surprised. I’m a big fan of your advocacy for working mothers and how you facilitate novel conversation around the creativity and boundaries it takes to harnessing a family and a career. I’m hoping you will explain more as you move along about your decision to move with such seemingly insensitivity with these posts. I hope that you have readers who are willing to listen as you unravel this bit of a tangled web of mess these last two posts have been. Good luck to you.

  7. Mike
    Mike says:

    1st – who gives a flying rat’s ass?
    2nd – a bullet to the head is a “head injury”
    3rd – Pen, you’re cruel but speak for us.

  8. KMAC
    KMAC says:

    Your post makes me sad. It almost seems like you’re happy this happened to prove that ha – women can’t have it all. It is a shame you feel that way and perhaps that isn’t how your household works, but I am fortunate enough to have a husband who supports me and participates in raising our children.

    I still give up plenty to be the type of mom I want to be, but I don’t begrudge a woman who has to sometimes put her career first. After all, what is the point of educating our daughters and telling they can be whatever they want to be, if we are limiting them once they choose to have a family.

    • Aurora
      Aurora says:

      Truth teller?

      The only grain of truth in this posting is that there are lots of logistics and money involved in a happy, dual-career family. So what if Sheryl Sandberg doesn’t disclose what those logistics are all about. You’d have to be a moron to not realize that it’s a massive challenge to manage all that without tons of help and money.

      Sheryl is an outlier who is doing what many many other outliers do in America– making a case for an exceptional life based on her own methods/processes. Like Tim Ferris. Like pretty much every CEO or executive that has written a self-help book. Penelope writes her advice based on big “n” studies– she’ll tell you what to do based on findings from reasonably large data sets. Does that make Penelope a truth teller in this particular instance? Hell no. Just because the majority of marriages suffer when there are two big careers and kids involved doesn’t mean that EVERY marriage suffers. And it doesn’t mean that the average woman shouldn’t look for Dave Goldberg-like qualities in a spouse.

  9. sherri
    sherri says:

    What a cruel and vile post. How unhappy, jealous, and insecure you must be to publicly speculate so cruelly.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      She’s probably jealous that Sheryl has a partner that doesn’t take pleasure in beating the crap out of her in front of the kids.

  10. Alicia
    Alicia says:

    Your first post was bad enough…following up with a second is not cool at all. As a mother and wife you should be more supportive. I’m kind of disgusted.

    I was wondering where you’ve been lately…now I wish you had continued to lay low for a little while longer. This is shameful.

  11. genspec
    genspec says:

    Everyone who says anything refers to themselves as “truth tellers.” And “brave.” And fighting the “politically correct.” Therefore it is meaningless. Just a bunch of words to make oneself feel good. Get some therapy. This is a sick blog hosted by a sick individual.

    • Helen
      Helen says:

      It’s gossip, is what it is.
      Malicious gossip.
      And that’s just old fashioned and a bit pathetic. Nothing life-coachey or modern about that.

  12. L
    L says:

    Wow. When does Sheryl say her life and husband are perfect? She freely admitted to using nannies and having to make family sacrifices. Does that mean leaning in drives husbands to their untimely deaths? You may want to just calm down… It could happen to any family, even the traditional ones.

  13. Jillian
    Jillian says:

    I have to agree with you Penelope on this one. You really are the voice of reason. I’m a separated mom and had/have had absolutely no help from family or friends. I had horrendous post natal depression after my child was born, due to having no support network and my then husband was abroad for work a lot. I’m not highly skilled with an MBA or a degree as I came from a working class backgound and my parents told me to leave home and get a job when I turned 18, so there was no emotional or financial support from them! I supported myself financially when I turned 18 as there was no alternative. I didn’t have the luxury of an ivy league education courtesy of my parents.

    I have discovered that it’s impossible to “lean in” when you’re a single mom earning €22,000 a year ($24,500 usd.) I wish people who have reached the pinnacle of their careers would be honest about the trade off they have made or the opportunity cost of giving up one thing to get another… ie: to the top of the corporate ladder.

    I have started my own business in recent months, as none of the full time jobs I worked even paid my bills and I was working crazy hours, never saw my child etc…. now I’m still working long hours, but it’s on my terms, I have total flexibility and can do the school run every day and know what is going on in my childs life, who her school friends are, if she ate her lunch etc… people and female execs in particular such as Sheryl need to stop perpetuating a myth and selling a lie. Ask her kids how they feel about her “leaning in” in 20 years time… it may paint a more accurate picture. Just sayin.

    • Aurora
      Aurora says:

      Jillian, just because Penelope is right that very few of us can actually successfully “lean in” to the extent that Sheryl Sandberg is able, just because she’s right that the idea is problematic doesn’t mean that she’s right to speculate about leaning in being the cause of death.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:


      Maybe you should have used part of your salary for an abortion. What is your kid going to say in 20 years time when you can’t afford to send them to college and the cycle of poverty is continued?

      • Casey
        Casey says:

        What the hell? These commenters are the sick ones. People who can’t afford to send their kids to college should have abortions? We know now how sociopathic Sheryl’s supporters are.

  14. AV
    AV says:

    IMO, Sheryl will get married to her next ‘Best Husband’ and continue to Lean In. And she will not disclose how the kids are coping with a new dad or with the grief!

    Sandberg is a load of crap! I’m real sorry for her loss, but that doesn’t mean I can agree with her stupid Lean In philosophy.

    Just to clarify, I am a woman – who find Sandberg despicable.

  15. says:

    HERE HERE Penelope. I wish no bad on Sheryl or her family and this is such a tragedy, but you are right on the money… I just saw this post and went and checked out your other post. I saw the controversy in the comments on the other one and I assume this one will generate the same. Sheryl’s lean in has been disingenuous all along for all the reasons you have consistently pointed out.

    • Judi
      Judi says:

      As my mother always said: “The only people who benefit from self help books are (pregnant pause) …the authors.” And, by the way, her husband and father of three, including me, died of a sudden heart attack in 1967 at the age of 46. Ours was a traditional family and she was a stay at home non-working Mom but I can totally identify with the shock and horror of losing a father at such a young age. It affects you for your entire life.

      • Sharon
        Sharon says:

        Tell me about it, Judy. I was 13 and my sister 3 when we lost our dad one fine day just like that , and he was only 44. I may have come to terms with it after all these years, but the what-ifs don’t leave me. We were ok financially since my mother was already working but emotionally, I see the scars all around , sometimes still raw. Our lives and who we turned out to be would have been so different if not for this life changing event. Life is not fair, is it ?

  16. Amy Tobin
    Amy Tobin says:

    This is at best reckless, and at worst heartless sensationalism. You have NO idea how he died, and it’s a crappy thing to do to ask these questions like this.

  17. Monica
    Monica says:

    I am trying to figure out what is wrong with you. You seem to delight in finding fault with this family. Is it because the woman wrote a book that some people agreed with? Who made you the moral center of the world and what right do you have to pass judgement on this family?Will it make you feel better to find out how he died and therefore prove you right? You are nothing special as far as I am concerned. Your lifestyle isn’t perfect either; you have lots of problems with your husband – I seem to remember a post about being hit by him and yet you stay! What a great role model you are for battered women! Stay with their abuser. Get over yourself!

  18. P...
    P... says:

    Seriously Penelope – breathe! We are all mirrors of what’s on the inside of ourselves; those secret dark and damp places that no one visits but only the soul knows about. And, your insides are showing, like beaming! Ask yourself, what the Fk are you so frustrated
    over – having it all or not having it all? Or do you just want to shine the light on a fraud because you’re one? “He/she who throws the first stone” comes to mind right now.

    You’re coming across as one frustrated person, who’s hurting yourself right now and for the fans who hold you dear, honestly, you’re pushing it. Have some compassion – seriously I hate to see this karma come back to get ya when you least expect it. Expect the unexpected.

    Love – it all comes down to sending some hurting people love. Reiki coming your way.

  19. Sandra Terry
    Sandra Terry says:

    Poor Judgment! He died of a head injury while working out… You really should rethink your sophomoric comments…and your motivation for poor judgment… not a time to try to make a statement about your beliefs… this is a great person, that made great strides and was a wonderful husband… perhaps something you cannot relate to… so you use your blog to express and project your own unhappy life…please rethink and do a better job of expressing yourself on a public level… poor judgment… insensitive…

  20. Monica
    Monica says:

    I’m not surprised you wrote this (second) post and I *do* think it echoes what many are thinking. I don’t want to “lean in” to shit and never bought that book—I never once believed that Sandberg’s message was genuine or that her life was worth modeling.

    However, I do think it’s time to give the topic a rest. You’ve made your point, but let’s remember this man has family, a grieving wife, and devastated children that he left behind. It doesn’t matter how or why he died at the end of the day. Sheryl has never said her life was perfect or that bad things couldn’t happen to her. And while I don’t agree with her overall message and do sense that her empire and potentially even her career is about to collapse or at least pivot drastically, I have a lot of compassion for her and whatever her family is going through privately.

    Her husband’s death is going to change her, and maybe even her views on leaning in. Give her a chance to process this event. She’s allowed to be human and learn lessons from this too. I don’t expect her to be the same person on the other side, once she gets through this.

    • Casey
      Casey says:

      It isn’t how he died that’s important, it’s that these powerful people control the media completely in a way that we have never seen before. That is truly frightening and not something we should “put to rest”. It is completely unacceptable in a free society and you should realize that.

  21. JC
    JC says:

    Have I been waiting for something like this to happen? Of course. Thank you for a great speculative, insightful, truth-preferring article. I am, I believe, the perfect husband. Neither my wife nor I have ever been ‘lean-in’ers’. Our two boys turned out better than good but they never ‘leaned-in’ and neither did their wives (except maybe the one who is a Director and took the family and our 2 granddaughters to Manilla for 2 years :(. Now we have to make do with the NYC son and his wife and our grandson!) My point: “Leaning In” is baloney pedaled by a saleswoman to make us think it’s Kobe beef. It ain’t.

  22. Sandra Terry
    Sandra Terry says:

    I agree with the last few comments… I think this Penelope is projecting her own pain and making poor judgment and comments based on her own past pain… so someone needs to just quiet her… please! The family does not need to see this or hear about it… she obviously has no idea what it feels like to lose a family member (or maybe she does and this is her way to seek attention)… but please, if you have one sensitive bone in your body… leave this family alone, public or not, they deserve respect… so STFU! Penelope! You are irrelevant in this situation… have some respect…

  23. Ha
    Ha says:

    Penelope is married to a man who beats her. Of course she is so jealous of Sheryl she cannot see straight. She is also admittedly mentally ill and has children with significant needs and is a pretty terrible mother. Seriously, nothing about these posts is surprising.

    • val
      val says:

      Agree,Penelope who tried to get her own reality show wearing a mini skirt feeding the chickens and discussing oral sex. Yes, great role model for women and your children. I think your kids would do better if you did lean in, they need some sanity in their lives!

      • Cecily Killari
        Cecily Killari says:

        And of course the best part is that she’d simply claim a hyper rationality in her thought process, due to her so called asperger’s syndrome, which allows her to vomit anything online while her fans call her “brave.” Bravery would have been to take her kids and move into a safer environment, hell, even to her own parent’s home, which she loves advising millenials on doing as well. But that would cut down on dramatic posts of a fish out of water lifestyle which would then reduce traffic to her blog.

  24. Bill Hogan
    Bill Hogan says:

    This psychotic, hateful, despicable woman is going to keep digging in deeper, and her sycophantic fans will follow right along with her. What a train wreck. I would feel sorry for her if she weren’t such an attention-seeking, heartless person.

  25. Lisa Carver
    Lisa Carver says:

    Your two blog posts makes you appear to be a mean and vindictive woman. I agree with others who point out the gall you have to point out the flaws in others so easily when you, of all women, must realize how hard it is to have a family and a career; you whine about it often.
    I’m sure these two blog posts today will drive a lot of traffic to your site; that’s really what this is all about, isn’t it? You complain how you can’t afford lessons for your son, how you make bad financial decisions and how your husband does not trust you to manage your money so posting vindictive and hateful things about a woman who has lost her husband may benefit you in some way; if nothing else by having read what you’ve written for the shock effect. I really do feel sorry for you. I hope you can step back and contemplate more fully your comments today and how you could have been a positive, supportive voice instead of being shrill and mean-spirited in the misguided attempt to make a point.

  26. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    You are a piece of work. Even if everything you say in your dubiously researched article was true, this woman has just suddenly and traumatically lost her husband. Her small children have lost their father. Where is the empathy for other women you so self-righteously proclaim missing from the Lean In philosophy? I find this a heartless, aggressive and vile post. I’m embarrassed and saddened by your coat-tail riding, click-mongering behaviour and I hope, for your sake, you can “lean in” to something else because whatever you’re leaning into right now is toxic.

    • Katie
      Katie says:

      I’m disappointed to say that I agree. I’m not fussed about the conversation surrounding women’s ability to “lean in” without the support of their husband and how, now that Dave has passed, Sheryl will have a significantly more difficult time doing just that. You could have sparked that conversation without the rapid jump to conclusions regarding his death. It’s almost disturbing how you are clinging to the possibility of suicide, as if that would validate your own opinions on leaning in and how difficult and stressful it is. I think you took an opportunity for a worthwhile discussion and turned it nasty.

  27. Thomas in Menlo Park
    Thomas in Menlo Park says:

    Now I discover this post. Clearly you believe in your narrative. You do realize that there is no way that your “theory” will ever be proven correct? So you can speculate all you want and you can have you’re “followers” chime in and support your strange theories. Meanwhile, the rest of us will just shake our heads and keep thinking that maybe the internet has given too many people a voice.

    What I don’t understand is that you hold yourself out as a some sort of life coach. Are you trying to kill your business? No rationale person that can pay your $350/h coaching fee would engage you now.

  28. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    This is a very disturbing article. Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should. Nothing in this article is based on any facts or inside information. You should start writing for the Enquirer, it’s a better fit for your type of “journalism”.

  29. HDL
    HDL says:

    This is just stunningly awful. You sound happy that this man is dead so that you can say that Sandberg is wrong to encourage women to seek success in business. And you want him to be dead by suicide to make the argument that it grew out of his wife’s philosophy. Men who have had stay at home wives have killed themselves. Men who have wives who worked as school teachers have killed themselves. Unless he left a letter saying that he killed himself because his wife was leaning in, and you have seen that letter, you are just pulling things out of the air. And now you refuse to accept that he collapsed and hit his head when he fell, saying that this is a cover up. Until they do an autopsy they cannot know why he collapsed– a heart attack or an aneurism? Many people have undiagnosed heart problems that are discovered only after they die. As for your family, was your uncle’s wife the “leaning in” head of a major corporation, and did that cause him to commit suicide? You have to be trolling.

  30. Sandra Terry
    Sandra Terry says:

    Please stop giving this blog any attention… she obviously does not understand reality and has no sensitivity button… for the family or any family that has ever experienced a sudden death… Please stop posting…out of respect for our victim. This is clearly an attention venue for someone that does not understand or deserve the respect or attention…

  31. MBT
    MBT says:

    I totally agree with you Penelope. I was REALLY surprised by how upset everyone was getting about what Penelope wrote. But then it occurred to me that the people getting all upset and crying “mind your own business” are the ones who want to “lean in” regardless of the consequences. Penelope’s words make them angry because it makes them uncomfortable when someone describes the potential consequences out loud and publicly. People might be less impressed with the results of their important jobs if they realize that children and spouses are the ones really paying.

    • Aurora
      Aurora says:

      Penelope’s words make me angry (very angry) because Sheryl Sandberg is a human being who doesn’t shit on other human beings, and doesn’t deserve to be shit upon during this time of grief.

      Penelope’s words make me angry because she speculates that Sandberg’s marriage was a mess because her husband gained a little weight. As if there are no other causes of weight gain.

      Penelope’s words make me angry because she calls Sandberg “misleading” for having a set of ideas that aren’t backed up by every little nitty gritty of detail of her personal life. She makes Sandberg wrong for trying to advance those ideas and her career, even when others have full dispensation to do so.

      Penelope’s words make me angry because some people are reading them and saying “good for you, you’re telling the truth” to make themselves feel better for their own shortcomings.

      But maybe, most of all, Penelope’s words make me angry because I’ve spent so much time reading them over the last many months, and, like many readers, I feel some sort of kinship with her, and now that has been violated because this is so off the rails.

      I guess the upshot is that I now believe that she really does have Aspergers. So I guess I’m in the wrong for not being more empathetic about her reaction to all of this. Or something.

    • cashmere
      cashmere says:

      so, if you don’t advocate and educate yourself and have minimum wage jobs and need 3 jobs to stay afloat and feed your kids then you don’t have an important job but you still don’t have time for the kids. Why this hatred for Sandberg? Read the book, agree or disagree and go on with your life.

  32. John Crawley
    John Crawley says:

    Don’t agree with all her conjecture.
    But be realistic, these are public figures.
    All the MSM are going to have reporters poking around mexico asking these same questions.
    And the three day delay in reporting COD is strange. And from 4-7pm there’s no one else in the gym? No bodyguard for a billionaire?
    Someone of that net worth dying in Mexico of “head trauma” has to provoke some investigation both by legal authorities and journalists.

    • Leigh
      Leigh says:

      Exactly! If the COD was so obvious, why not release it immediately. His wife HAD to know that delaying the cause would invite wild speculation. And nobody else (or an attendant) enters the gym between 4-7? At the Four Seasons?? Maybe a Best Western. Something is up. It’s just too weird.

      • Jessica
        Jessica says:

        Husband has the idea (didn’t tell him who’s husband, just random death) that it was suicide and/or infidelity upon immediately hearing cause of death was delayed.

        Have a field day with that one.

      • l. sherman
        l. sherman says:

        More news sites are now updating to state that The Four Seasons Resort in Mexico denies he was a guest nor did this event happen in their gym.

        • Scott Anderson
          Scott Anderson says:

          That’s just not true. The Four Seasons GM stated that the incident didn’t happen at any part of the resort that they manage. There are multiple gyms at the Four Seasons PM, including large private ones in the larger homes (google Coral Suites 3 bedroom to see one). Anther super nice and big gym is at the Club Punta Mita Premiere Fitness Center. The Club Fitness Center is welcome to people staying in the Four Seasons residences (large privately owned homes). I am sure that given their wealth they were not staying in hotel rooms – they had rented one of the huge homes, and he was either using the private gym at the home or the one at the Club Fitness Center. So both the GM’s statement and the statement that he hurt himself while working out at the Four Seasons could be correct. Who’d have thunk we’d find conspiracy theorists on a topic this sad? This blogger needs a therapist in the biggest way. Something is seriously wrong with someone who writes crap like this.

          • Sarah McInter
            Sarah McInter says:

            It’s just so weird to dribble out the information like this.
            First he collapsed excersizing.
            Then a quote from a mexican prosecutor about head trauma.
            Then he hit his head at the four seasons gym.
            Then the NYT prints a denial from the four seasons manager.
            If these multiple gyms are common knowledge why didn’t the four seasons manager explain this to the NYT reporter?

          • jessie
            jessie says:

            They were staying at a “Private” villa near the 4 seasons. That was confirmed by the NYT. No need to have bodyguards at a private villa and not surprising that someone else wouldn’t be in a gym at a private home. Get over your conspiracy theories and let this woman grieve in peace!

          • Reality check
            Reality check says:

            People. People! They did not issue a press release. It was announced by the brother in a personal Facebook post. I guarantee the family was not taking media phone calls that were inquiring about the details of where they were staying and exactly how did it happen and who found him and how bloody. Have none of you ever experienced a sudden death or accident in the family? It’s chaos. Who the hell cares if the AP Wire is calling on deadline?

            It was a private villa with an exclusive gym. It’s very important to the Four Seasons Punta Mita to not have their guests speculating that a guy died right there where they were standing. That’s why they were the only ones issuing any press statement at all.

  33. Sapiess
    Sapiess says:

    Sheryl Sandburg may or may not have been pushing an agenda based on false premises, but it’s simplistic to draw a one to one correlation and then say that something caused someone’s suicide.

    Suicide runs in my family–or at least my grandfather died from mysterious circumstances. At first I was told it was suffocation, then it was a health problem. Depression definitely seems to run in my family–I’ve had it.

    There have been times in my life when I tried to talk myself up because everything in my life was going great. I had a steady job, was saving lots of money, and had a great boyfriend. I was young and (otherwise) healthy. Yet sometimes I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning and contemplated suicide.

    I had a mild case and got support, but suicide is hard to prevent. 70% of cases of suicide leave no note, and some come without any warning (

  34. Albert Tong
    Albert Tong says:

    Get back on your medication, Adrienne. Using someone’s death to get views (and then insisting that it’s a conspiracy) is not rational behavior. It’s shameful and disgusting.

  35. MNovos
    MNovos says:

    I NEVER post my opinion on any forum, however I cannot remain silent after reading this note filled with such a hugh lack of sensitivity and respect. The words this person express and the intention are only the reflection of her internal compass.

  36. genspec
    genspec says:

    A fulfilling or successful life is achieved in many ways. For some, it takes the form of creating a relatively unimportant and soon to be forgotten blog on some corner of the internet, writing uninformed and ill-advised nonsense about this or that, sometimes leaching on celebrity to gain some sense of importance. And if lucky, a few supporters and commenters to boot. Such is life in the internet age.

  37. HDL
    HDL says:

    People are upset because she does not know what she is talking about, and yet she is talking in emphatic tones as if she knows these people intimately, and she does not. As a matter of fact, we don’t know what caused his death. Did he have heart attack or an aneurism and fall and hit his head. Did he stumble and fall and hit his head? We go between criticizing the press for speaking too quickly about things that they have to retract and, now, complaining that it took them two days to give a cause of death– and we still do not know exactly what happened. And billionaires, and I know some, do not always go around with bodyguards. Americans get their facts from movies and television. There is no question that journalists and others will continue to look at this. The problem is writing as if you know all the answers right now in order to score political points.

  38. Alan Flaherty
    Alan Flaherty says:

    I don’t know what happened to Dave Goldberg, and neither does anyone (including PT) posting to this site. But, if NYT is to be believed, Goldberg’s incident occurred at a Four Seasons resort accommodating more than 400 guests. Wouldn’t the exercise machines at such a high-end facility be sufficiently staff-monitored to head off a guest death from “head trauma and blood loss?” More info will emerge on this matter.

    • RDB
      RDB says:

      The NYT said he was in a private suite – it may have had its own gym which would be unmonitored/unstaffed. I’d suggest going to the paper of record for your news. PT’s blog is clearly a “fact-free environment.”

      • John Crawley
        John Crawley says:

        NYT Just added this quote :
        John O’Sullivan, general manager of the Four Seasons Punta Mita, said in a phone interview that there had not been any incident at the parts of the resort managed by the company.

        Weird stuff.

        • Jessica
          Jessica says:

          Woah! The GM of the resort is correcting the COD?!!!?

          What is this. I’m kind of pissed these smart people of the world are not managing their story. Stick with a thing. Defend the thing. Pick a thing. Anything but this.
          What’s next?

          My husbands cheating story is starting to become more plausible.

        • Scott Anderson
          Scott Anderson says:

          If you had ever stayed at the Four Seasons Punta Mita property you would know that there are quite a few gym options – only one of which is directly managed by the Four Seasons (the gym at the hotel itself). Other options open to people staying on the Four Seasons property include private gyms – we stayed at the Coral Suit house and it has it’s own large, well appointed gym – the gym at the other hotel (I think St. Regis), as well as the Club Punta Mita Premiere Fitness Club. The in-house gyms, the St. Regis gym, and the Premiere Fitness Club are not managed by Four Seasons. I suppose Mr. Sullivan could have been more explicit about this but he was clearly trying to wash his hands of any blame in the matter. Mr. Goldberg may have fallen in the gym in his house and not been missed until someone realized how long he had been missing, or he might have been at the Premiere Fitness Club, which at that time of day would have been pretty slow so perhaps not well staffed.

          • Carla Smith
            Carla Smith says:

            Yes, but all guests are registered in a centralized database of some sort (I know because I have been there). The management did not only say Goldberg was not registered as a guest but that Goldberg did not have an accident in any of their facilities. Read about it.

          • Scott Anderson
            Scott Anderson says:

            Carla, that is simply not true. I stayed at a Four Seasons private home. It had a private gym. At no time did we check in with the front desk or elsewhere at the hotel or provide our names to any one there. We received our keys at the front gate to Punta Mita, which is a private resort that contains several properties, not just the Four Seasons Hotel. You do not know what you are talking about.

          • Reality check
            Reality check says:

            The vast majority, if not all, Four Seasons worldwide have private residences on property. They’re property managers who provide high end resort services, like landscaping, for any private residences or time shares that want to share prime real estate.

            Anyway, I rent private homes a lot (not this high end!), and I certainly do not register the names of all people staying with me in the house. This could well have been rented in an executive assistant or travel concierge’s name.

  39. Aurora
    Aurora says:

    Are you KIDDING me? You’re still at this?


    Forbes just published a nice post on “What not to say to Sheryl Sandberg”. Of course they didn’t include “You did it to him because you leaned in.” Because that would be mean and spiteful. And insane.

    Stop it.

  40. RDB
    RDB says:

    Since you brought it up, Penelope, how does YOUR husband feel about you leaning into him and his bank account to fund your startup? He’s a farmer, which means his savings were earned with old-fashioned hard work, probably over many years. I’m sure you work hard too, but startups have an incredibly high failure rate and you seem quite content to literally BET THE FARM on yours. By your own account, this kind of financial risk is incredibly hard for your husband, yet you forced him to take it anyway. How’s his health these days?

    Try turning your judgmental eye INWARD to evaluate a situation you actually know about – YOUR OWN. It’s a lot harder than spewing unfounded speculation and drawing erroneous conclusions about a grieving widow that you DON’T KNOW.

  41. PJ
    PJ says:

    Why not debate this blog post on the merits of the argument, rather on whether the post should have been written to begin with?

    Are all the angry comments from Sheryl’s family? It sounds like people are taking this REALLY personally and that Sheryl’s family is posting here.

    Grief is awful. I’ve been there. The Internet is not going to help you in your grief.

    This blog post is a philosophical discussion about life choices and as an example, we are discussing a family that CHOSE to live in the public eye and that CHOSE to *profit* off of holding up their lifestyle as a model.

    They deserve to grieve in peace, absolutely. But that this debate would occur should not be a surprise.

    All of us have to make life decisions all the time and consider all data inputs. And this is another data input.

    One could even argue that it’s better to “lean in” in the off chance that one’s husband does die young, because then the family will have the financial resources to fall back on and the mother won’t be having to enter the workforce to support the family after years of leaning out.

  42. Mic p
    Mic p says:

    Everyone should look at the Reuters or AP articles. The family says he died at the four seasons hotel gym. The hotel denies he was a guest or in the gym. Look for yourselves. Somethings fishy.

    • JP
      JP says:

      You are right! The Four Seasons denies it. But even if he used an alias and was at the resort, the gym is 5,500 sq. ft and staffed according to their website. Nobody noticed him almost 3 hours during peak hours of 4-7? People SHOULD question this.

      • jd
        jd says:

        It says you can get headphones from staff but the fitness room itself does not have a staff member in it.

        The Four Seasons as a matter of policy does not reveal guest information.

  43. Mountain Mama
    Mountain Mama says:

    This is my first exposure to Penelope Trunk’s blog, and I found it to be very interesting. I, too, googled the cause of death for Mr. Goldberg and stumbled on Ms. Trunk’s blog. I found Ms. Trunk’s observations about the whole scenario to be very insightful. She picked up on a lot of facts, e.g., weight gain, Sandberg in DC on Friday, etc., that paint a different picture than what is presented to the public. Good journalists should look into those details but too often just rewrite the PC press release. Also, public figures invite this type of scrutiny, especially when they hold themselves up as examples that the public should aspire to.
    As for Ms. Sandberg’s book, I read the review in the WSJ and decided that I did not want to read it. The review was enough. I’ve learned over the years that the old adage is true, that one of the benefits of growing older is that you get to see how things turn out. In my experience, I’ve seen many women at the top and in the middle who work full time with fulfilling careers, but they had to make choices along the way. Some decided not to get married, or in many cases, couldn’t find their equal in a male so would rather be alone than marry down. Other women with children had wonderful careers, but they had to make choices and therefore didn’t experience all the wonderful moments that come with being at home with their kids. I don’t believe the premise that women can have it all. I have never seen it. There are choices, trade offs. I didn’t believe Sandberg’s premise. FYI, I had a great career, married late, had two kids, & worked PT from home to raise my kids. My career took a hit when I went PT at home, but I wouldn’t trade my time with the kids for anything. One of my bosses once told me during a merger/layoff that “everyone is replaceable” at work and I’ve seen over time that he is right. Great careers are fun and challenging, but children have that lasting quality that satisfies in old age.

    • Raveon Denver
      Raveon Denver says:

      I’m with you — the answer to the question ‘can women have it all?’ is yes, but NOT all at the same time. The Lean-in movement was massively annoying to normal women, in spite of its good intentions.

      And, I’ve never heard of this Penelope before, but she’s just saying what everyone is thinking. And saying it well.

    • Alan
      Alan says:

      Because it wasn’t that gym, idiot. The resort has a lot of private facilities not managed by the Four Seasons staff (which is what the manager was talking about–not “denying the report”). I can’t believe the odious and incorrect speculation about this guy’s death has been followed by a wave of trutherism. Dave Goldberg stumbled on a treadmill, obviously in an unattended area, and hit his head. Although I guess you’ll argue his careless treadmill use was due to the distractions caused by his wife’s leaning in. Penelope and you lot following her down this insane path are ghoulish and strange.

      • Julie
        Julie says:

        You seem to have a personal investment in this case. If had not been Dave Goldberg – who by all accounts was a nice guy – but, say, one of the many Republican presidential candidates had suddenly died, with no cause of death given for 3 days, what would you say? And then the only explanation given was an implausible accident in a public place where no body was discovered for more than three hours, and where the local management denied it ever happened?

        You’d probably say it stinks. And it does.

        Dave Goldberg was not just any guy. He was an extremely rich and prominent man married to an even richer and more prominent woman. I really don’t buy the official story, and I also think the Mexican prosecutor can be paid off to say anything you want him to say. The Times and CNN have already shown they’re willing to accept the party line on this case.

        Just for context, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I do believe in the standard story of the moon landing and the 9-11 towers, and I think Oswald shot Kennedy. But this case hasn’t been properly vetted or explained.

        • Jessica
          Jessica says:

          That’s the point, isn’t it?

          None of the official accounts even add up.

          So people saying that to question any of the released events is wrong clearly haven’t read the differing accounts and glanced at Sheryl’s travel timeline.

          It’s not a conspiracy.

      • Molly
        Molly says:

        Alan, You need to take this up with Reuters and the AP … and not call me an “idiot” for asking a reasonable question. Jeez! Julie is right, you do seem to have a personal investment in this. There is no other way to read this information other than Mexican government officials (Ha! in itself) say Mr. Goldberg was injured at the hotel gym, and the hotel denies that it happened there, or that he was even a guest.

        Penelope’s blog is operating under the assumption that the story is untrue — and it definitely appears that way to me!

        • Alan
          Alan says:

          I apologize for being intemperate, but it is galling to me that people are looking for some kind of bizarre explanation when the apparent truth is bizarre and sad enough. I have no personal investment in anything connected with this–haven’t met any of the people involved, have no connection to any of the companies (aside from being one of the billion-ish people on Facebook, and having read and enjoyed “Lean In”).

          I think the Reuters reporter, like many of the people on this comment thread, extrapolated wrongly from the Four Seasons manager’s careful statement. Goldberg wasn’t a guest and wasn’t in any of the areas managed by the Four Seasons. But he could very well have been in an exercise area of a private villa–probably a likelier place for the family of a billionaire to stay than the hotel proper. I agree someone should ask more-explicit questions, but from what I can see now, there’s no relevant denial of the emerging facts.

          I have to ask: Why are you so eager that this not be a simple, if unusual, treadmill accident? Julie, I understand your Republican-candidate analogy, but Dave Goldberg wasn’t nearly that kind of public person. Well-known, yes, but not a potential leader of the free world, not someone likely to come into possession of nuclear codes. He ran a tech company and was married to a famous executive, and he died. Why would someone bother to concoct a lie about that? Do you really buy into Penelope’s insane theory that the “lean in” philosophy somehow killed him? Just very odd, in my view.

          • Carla Smith
            Carla Smith says:

            If the reporters had made a mistake and interpreted incorrectly what the Four Seasons’s management said about Goldberg not being a guest there, we woud have seen a correction by now. I have been in that area, and even the mill and billionaires register, there is a record of that, and if management says no record exist, it must be that it does not exist. Why does this have to do with the lean in philosophy? Because Sandberg’s idea of what a good husband is has to put a lot of pressure not just on the husband, but the kids and wife as well. I chose to be a mom when my kids were born, took a break from work, and once they were in school, I went back to work, and I can tell you that it is not easy at all. I was no longer able to attend recitals, or go as often on field trips, I was no longer as involved, even with my husband helping a ton. So I scaled back, worked part time from home instead, so I could be there for my kids. Not the best career move I suppose, but one that worked for our family. As a results, my kids are happy, my husband is happy (and not overweight, he has time to work out and be healthy), and I am happier too. The Lean In philosophy as presented by Sandberg does not work for all, and I truly doubt it worked for her: I am sure nannies take over duties that are the parents’, and health was obviously neglected as Dave Goldberg looked not in the best physical shape possible. It is not logical to believe that two executives with so much in the way of job related activities, can be there for the kids in a way that kids need parents to be there for them

          • lilypotter
            lilypotter says:

            Welp, call me crazy but I am totally on board with the idea that the “lean in” philosophy killed DG. Happens all the time. This time it happened to Mr. Lean In. Don’t let it happen to you. Is it sad? Yes. Improbable? No.

      • Carla Smith
        Carla Smith says:

        All the facilities within the Four Seasons are for guests only, no outsiders are allowed unless they are with a registered guest. I highly doubt that these rich people would trick the staff into letting them in if they were not guests. If the resort is saying they were not guests, it is because they weren’t. By now, any misunderstanding would have been cleared either by the Mexican media or the American media, and it hasn’t, because the likely scenario is Goldberg was not a guest there

      • Grace
        Grace says:

        If you call someone an idiot, why would people be interested in reading the rest of your post?
        Please try to be kinder. You’ll sleep better and enjoy better health, I promise you.

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