A high-profile Uber investor who was arrested for alleged sexual assault in London insists he’s being smeared

Shervin Pishevar
  • Shervin Pishevar has admitted that he was arrested after a woman alleged that he sexually assaulted her last spring but denies the allegation and says that after a police investigation he was “de-arrested” and never charged.
  • Pishevar has claimed that he has become the target of an ugly smear campaign against him.
  • The revelation of this incident comes just days after Pishevar filed a defamation lawsuit claiming that reporters are being fed a number of false stories about him.

Shervin Pishevar, a high-profile Silicon Valley investor who has been at the center of a bitter and public feud involving Uber’s management, has acknowledged that he was briefly arrested in London earlier this year after a woman alleged he sexually assaulted her.

Pishevar categorically denies the allegation that he raped a woman in a London hotel, and he warned earlier this week that negative news reports about him might surface as a result of what he has called a “smear campaign” against him.

While Pishevar admits that he was accused, arrested, and investigated by police earlier this year, he said he was released and “de-arrested” (a British legal term), according to a statement sent to Business Insider. And charges were never filed.

Here is the statement:

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 rumours have been spread about him, including that he purportedly paid money to settle the claim. That is categorically false. It is because of false rumours 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.

The arrest was reported by Forbes on Thursday, which said it obtained details of the incident in question, such as the location where the woman alleges the rape occurred, through a copy of a sealed arrest warrant.

The report of the arrest comes as a number of high-profile business executives and celebrities have been accused of sexual assault, including Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and several tech investors. Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick resigned from the CEO job earlier this year, after allegations of widespread gender discrimination and harassment within the company that he oversaw.

A flurry of lurid allegations and an opposition research firm

Last week, Pishevar publicly alleged that he was being targeted by a smear campaign when he filed a defamation lawsuit against a company called Definers Public Affairs. Definders is known for doing GOP political opposition research and it opened a Silicon Valley office this summer where it is helping tech companies deal with political issues in Washington, such as the Russia investigation.

Tim Miller, who opened the company’s Silicon Valley office, denied being behind the alleged smear campaign and called Pishevar’s accusations “delusional.” We have asked Miller if Definers has additional comment based on Pishevar’s statement.

Others have confirmed to Business Insider that various investigative reporters have been researching Pishevar. One of the stories mentioned in Pishevar’s defamation lawsuit involved allegations around a sexual assault in London. The lawsuit specifically called out “allegations that he settled a claim for sexual assault in London” as a lie.

In his lawsuit, Pishevar said that the other false stories being spread about him involve calling him an agent of Russia, a supposed “incident with a prostitute in Europe,” and that he was unable to raise additional money for his venture investment fund and that he had raised money from investors to invest in Uber but put it “into his own pockets” instead.

Pishevar is as a venture investor who is probably best known as a co-founder of Hyperloop One where he is executive chairman and as an investor in Uber.

He has been a very outspoken advocate for former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, even after he resigned. Pishevar has issued public statements backing Kalanick during that company’s board- level drama when one member of the board sued Kalanick. And he threatened to sue over Uber’s still in-the-works funding deal with Softbank, which, if finalised, would eliminate the extra voting rights of Kalanick and other early investors and limit Kalanick’s influence as an Uber board member.