Venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, who has been accused by multiple unnamed women of sexual misconduct in a recent news report, is now being accused by a Republican-affiliated opposition research firm of spreading false information about it in an attempt to cover up his alleged wrongdoings.
In a bizarre twist on Wednesday, Definers Public Affairs — which Pishevar is suing for allegedly helping to spread a false police report that accuses him of rape — filed a motion to dismiss the investor’s suit in full. That motion, made in San Francisco Superior Court, argues that Pishevar’s lawsuit should be thrown out under California’s anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (anti-SLAPP) law, which was designed to prevent litigation that is simply meant to silence or intimidate critics by burying them under legal costs.
Pishevar “filed the lawsuit before reporters published their stories, undoubtedly hoping his lawsuit would intimidate women and the press from revealing reports of alleged sexual misconduct and harassment,” the motion argues.
Last week, Bloomberg News reported that Pishevar sexually harassed five unnamed women, who had agreed to use their names in the story, but then retracted their permission after learning about Pishevar’s lawsuit and legal tactics. Pishevar originally sued Definers in November, following the publication of stories in multiple outlets about an alleged rape that occurred in London in May. In that suit, the investor accused Definers of disseminating false information about the London incident. A police document, which some outlets used to report on the incident, was later found to have incorrect information, though Pishevar has never denied that the event occurred.
“Mr. Pishevar now seeks to use the American courts to continue his effort to stifle reports of his alleged misconduct,” the motion reads. “But instead of suing any press outlet directly, he has opted for a diversionary tactic: by targeting a PR firm with two founders who formerly worked on Republican campaigns, he hopes to create a false narrative of ‘Republicans vs. Democrats’ as a smokescreen.”
Pishevar was a significant contributor to Democratic politicians. On Monday, Bloomberg reported that Democratic senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, who received campaign funds from the venture capitalist, have donated that money to charity.
Mark Fabiani, a spokesperson for Pishevar, declined to comment. On Tuesday, Pishevar took a leave of absence from his venture fund Sherpa Capital and Virgin Hyperloop One, where he is coexecutive chairman.
“I have decided to take an immediate leave of absence from my duties at Sherpa Capital and Virgin Hyperloop One, as well as my portfolio
- Shervin Pishevar filed for dismissal of his lawsuit against a GOP opposition firm, will keep fighting “smear campaign” he says came with rape allegations (Marcus Baram/Fast Company)
- Shervin Pishevar says he's taking an immediate leave of absence from Sherpa Capital and Hyperloop One following allegations of sexual misconduct (Megan Rose Dickey/TechCrunch)
- Tech investor Shervin Pishevar sues political opposition firm, claiming it alleged Russian ties, sexual assault incident, and more (Tony Romm/Recode)
- Two US Senators say they redirected Shervin Pishevar funds to charities after misconduct claims; sources: some Hyperloop One board members ask Pishevar to leave (Bloomberg)
- Greta Van Susteren On Social Media, Sexual Harassment, And Helping Women Reach Their Full Potential
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