Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Shervin Pishevar has decided to take a leave of absence from his duties at Sherpa Capital and the transportation startup Virgin Hyperloop One. Pishevar has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, so he plans to take a leave of absence to pursue a defamation lawsuit he filed last month against a political opposition research group. According to Pishevar, this decision is meant to “eliminate any potential distraction to the great and important work being done at these companies.”
According to the lawsuit, Pishevar was targeted by a smear campaign that fabricated false rumors about him, including that claims he paid to settle a sexual assault accusation in London. Pishevar was detained but not charged earlier this year in London in connection with a sexual assault. Pishevar says he hopes to “unearth who fabricated the fraudulent London ‘police report,’ and who is responsible for spreading false rumors about me.”
“As that legal case progresses, it is my priority to ensure that the Sherpa Capital family is not adversely affected,” Pishevar wrote Tuesday in an emailed statement. “I am confident I will be vindicated.”
In a statement given by Sherpa Capital, which was co-founded by Pishevar, it said that they had never received a complaint related to sexual harassment against Pishevar; however, they would be starting an independent internal review.
“We respect and support Shervin’s decision to take a leave of absence while he pursues his rights under the law. Since Sherpa Capital was founded in 2013, our Firm has been committed to upholding a culture of integrity and service, including best in class policies and practices that reflect these values.”
However, there are many more allegations against Pishevar. According to a recent report by Bloomberg he forcibly kissed, groped, or harassed five women, taking advantage of his power as an investor in companies like Uber, where he served on the board of directors.