- Shervin Pishevar says he was arrested on an allegation of sex assault in London in May
- Pishevar says police told him in July that there would be no further action
- He claims he is target of smear campaign being run by Republican ‘opposition research’ company Definers Public Affairs who he is suing in San Francisco
- Iranian-American billionaire claims firm spread smears including that he is a Russian agent and had an ‘incident with a prostitute in Europe’
- Democratic mega-donor and Hillary Clinton backer says they falsely spread rumors he had paid off victim of alleged attack in London
- Pishevar, 42, is one of Silicon Valley’s highest-profile investors, with his Sherpa Capital investing in Uber and Elon Musk’s Hyperloop
A Silicon Valley tycoon admitted Thursday he was arrested after an alleged sex assault – but says he was cleared and is now the target of a smear campaign.
His lawyer told DailyMail.com that Pishevar was told in July that there would be ‘no further action’.
But Pishevar, 43, claims in legal papers filed in California that his arrest was followed by a smear campaign falsely claiming that he paid off the victim to settle the issue.
The Hillary Clinton-supporter accuses a Republican ‘opposition research’ firm, Definers Public Affairs, of spreading a series of smears about him, including that he is a friend of Vladimir Putin and a Russian agent.
And he says in the legal papers that they hired an investigator who used a fake name and burner phones to ‘dig dirt’ – in an echo of the revelations about how Harvey Weinstein hired ex-Israeli spies to target his accusers.
Arrest: Shervin Pishevar, 43, says he was arrested on an allegation of sex assault in London. He is a former Uber director and friend of its founder Travis Kalanick
Doing business: Pishavar co-founded Hyperloop One, and has recently teamed up with Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson to brand it as Virgin-Hyperloop One
Partying: Pishevar and his friend Travis Kalanick were photographed in 2012 with Snoop Dogg and Marion ‘Suge’ Knight
He says he has also been falsely accused of ‘an incident with a prostitute in Europe’, and of having no money and ‘that he was in essence a house of cards’.
Pishevar’s high-powered attorney Mark Fabiani, a one time White House spokesman, said in a statement to DailyMail.com: ‘In May 2017, Mr Pishevar was detained briefly in London in connection with a alleged sexual assault, an allegation he categorically denied.
‘He fully cooperated with the police investigation which was exhaustive and detailed. In July he was informed that no further action would be taken against him and he was “de-arrested” (a British legal term).
‘Mr Pishevar is grateful for the highly professional and expeditious manner in which the inquiry was conducted.
‘Mr Pishevar is informed that several false rumors have been spread about him, including that he purportedly paid money to settle the claim.
‘That is categorically false. It is because of false rumors like this that Mr Pishevar was compelled to bring his legal action against Definers to ensure that his reputation is not destroyed and that the truth will always prevail.’
Definers, however, called his claim ‘delusional’ and its spokesman, Tim Miller, said on Twitter: ‘Definers has never engaged in any of the actions in his complaint nor done any work with regards to him.’
Pishevar is one of Silicon Valley’s key power brokers. He has been on the board of Uber and is a close personal friend of Travis Kalanick, the firm’s founder who stepped down as CEO in June under pressure from investors over allegations of a corporate culture which tolerated harassment.
Pishevar is now the executive chairman of Hyperloop One, Elon Musk’s attempt to revolutionize transport.
He recently went into business with Virgin boss Branson to move the Hyperloop forward and possibly build one in the UK.
Pishevar, 43, is a prominent Democrat supporter who co-hosted a glittering fundraisers at his Silicon Valley home for Clinton with George and Amal Clooney.
But his explosive law suit against Definers will propel him further into the global spotlight amid a series of powerful Hollywood men being accused of sexual misconduct.
High-powered: Pishevar’s attorney is Mark Fabiani (left) who is leading the legal effort against Definers, the public affairs firm founded by ex-Mitt Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades (right)
Response: This was how Definers Public Affairs hit back at Pishevar
Complaint: How Pishevar has gone to court in California
In the legal papers, Pishevar claims that Definers told ‘a third party’: ‘Hey, we hear Shervin is the next to go down.’
He claims Definers was hired by one or more of his competitors to ‘dig dirt’ but that the firm, founded by Matt Rhoades, a Republican adviser who ran Mitt Romney’s losing 2012 bid for the White House, failed to find any and instead spread lie.
The legal papers allege they told one or more of his employees that working for him would tarnish their reputation, and that as rumors spread as many as 25 reporters contacted employees, investors, associates and clients ‘attempting to dig up dirt about his personal or professional life’.
Pishevar, a single father of two young children, was born in Iran but left when his father became a target of the 1979 revolution’s regime.
He studied medicine but instead of practicing went to work in Silicon Valley as an entrepreneur.
Since then his roles have included being general manager at Mozilla, managing director of Menlo Ventures, a venture capital fund with stakes in Tumblr and Warby Parker.
He co-founded his own Sherpa Capital in 2013 with an ex-Goldman Sachs banker and has invested through it in Uber – where he was on the board from 2011 to 2015 – Airbnb and Munchery.
Pishevar has also been an angel investor in Dollar Shave Club, Taskrabbit and Cherry, which was sold to Lyft.
When Clinton lost the election last year he advocated California secession from the United States, which he says as turned into a smear as it was claimed that friendship with Putin – which he denies – was behind his call for the state to leave the union.