Silicon Valley VC takes leaves amid harassment allegations

Shervin Pishevar

"Therefore, I have made a decision to take an immediate leave of absence from my duties at Sherpa Capital and Virgin Hyperloop One, as well as my portfolio company board responsibilities, so that I can pursue the prosecution of my lawsuit, where I am confident I will be vindicated".

Pishevar noted that he was taking the leave in order to protect his venture capital firm and its portfolio companies as he pursues a lawsuit against individuals who he said have conducted a "smear campaign" against him.

Pishevar, one of Silicon Valley's most battle-scarred investors, said Tuesday that he would take an "immediate leave of absence" from both Sherpa Capital and Hyperloop One, the company built on well-known entrepreneur Elon Musk's vision for fast and efficient freight and passenger transportation.

Our team remains focused on supporting our portfolio companies, investing in outstanding founders, and serving the interests of our Limited Partners.

Pishevar is the latest venture capitalist to leave his firm amid allegations of sexual misconduct. He says that he is the subject of a smear campaign, and has filed a lawsuit against a GOP political opposition research group, Definers Public Affairs, alleging that the firm is behind the alleged smear campaign.

Besides the lawsuit, the incidents surrounding Pishevar's troubles have been unusual in other ways.

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In May, Pishevar was arrested in a London hotel on suspicion of rape, Forbes reported. His lawsuit accuses the firm of publicizing unconfirmed information about Pishevar allegedly sexual assaulting a woman in London.

Pishevar has denied these allegations and says that he's the subject of a smear campaign. Through the discovery process, I hope to unearth who fabricated the fraudulent London "police report", and who is responsible for spreading false rumors about me. "He fully cooperated with the police investigation which was exhaustive and detailed".

The spokesperson said Sherpa Capital is launching an internal review of company practice to ensure that no employees fall off professional and ethical standards.

"I am confident I will be vindicated", said Pishevar in his statement on Tuesday. Pishevar released a statement today announcing his departure, saying that it was his own decision. "We recognize the inherent challenges of reporting misconduct, but note that Sherpa has never received a sexual harassment complaint". Democratic senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker said they've donated Pishevar's combined $15,000 contributions to their campaign to victims of domestic violence and assault, campaign spokespeople confirmed to Bloomberg this week.

Pishevar is the founder of Sherpa Capital and a co-founder of Virgin Hyperloop One.

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