Early yesterday evening, a story broke on Bloomberg alleging Uber investor and Hyperloop One co-founder Shervin Pishevar had used his position of power to make unwanted sexual advances to at least five women. Pishevar, through his lawyer, now says these allegations are part of a “smear campaign” against him.
The allegations are egregious. One woman who spoke to Bloomberg alleged Pishevar had met up with her over business only to turn it into what she alleged was an unwanted romantic rendezvous culminating at his place. Another claimed he “forcibly kissed her” and later repeatedly harassed her. Yet another alleged the prominent Silicon Valley investor began showing her pictures of vaginas on his phone while at an after-party at a professional conference.
Several current and former Uber employees Bloomberg spoke to also alleged Pishevar had attempted to pursue and later grope Uber’s then 30-year-old head of global expansion, Austin Geidt, at a roaring 20s-themed Uber company party. Geidt, however, declined to give comment about the alleged incident.
One person in attendance of the party and whom Pishevar’s spokesman referred to Bloomberg for the story said she did not witness the incident but didn’t think Pishevar would be able to touch Geidt as he had a drink in one hand and was holding the leash of the pony he brought to the party in the other.
This report is not the first sexual misconduct allegation against Pishevar to come up. The prominent Silicon Valley investor was arrested in London over a rape allegation earlier this year. However, charges were later dropped in the case, citing “insufficient evidence.”
Pishevar went on to secure an injunction against the Sun newspaper, preventing it from reporting the arrest.
None of the five women accusing Pishevar of sexual misconduct have identified themselves. Though Bloomberg notes in the report, some of the women were scared off from doing so, fearing Pishevar’s history of lawsuits and his influence in the Valley.
Pishevar’s lawyer, Mark Fabiani, who also has represented Bill O’Reilly, the former Fox News host fired over allegations of sexual harassment, has now issued a statement about the allegations, denying them and saying they are part of a “smear campaign.”
“Shervin Pishevar is the victim of an organized smear campaign, which so far has involved the fabrication of a London ‘police report.’ Now, anonymous and untrue stories have suddenly surfaced concerning Mr. Pishevar,” the statement reads. “The assertions regarding the only person named have now been directly refuted by an eyewitness to the claimed events, and there are communications sent from the named person herself to Mr. Pishevar which directly undermine any credibility being given to the claims made. Just as the London ‘police report’ turned out to be fabricated, we are confident that these anecdotes will be shown to be untrue as well. Mr. Pishevar is confident that he will be vindicated.”
Earlier this month, Pishevar sued a GOP opposition research firm, Definers Public Affairs, accusing it of spreading a smear campaign against him; though Tim Miller, a partner of the firm, called the allegations “delusional.”
When asked if these recent allegations are part of the same smear campaign, Pishevar’s lawyer told TechCrunch, “The discovery process has just now begun in Mr. Pishevar’s lawsuit, and as a result of that process, which will of course include sworn depositions, should lead to an answer to your question.”