- Silicon Valley billionaire Michael Goguen is suing the New York Post for defamation.
- The Post ran a story about a recent legal complaint filed against Goguen.
- That complaint against Goguen alleged the billionaire plotted to kill detractors and kept a “harem” of women.
Silicon Valley billionaire Michael Goguen filed a lawsuit against the New York Post Friday, accusing the publication of defamation. The Post recently published a story based on a lawsuit accusing Goguen of running a “harem” of women and scheming to kill the people who stood against him.
“The article falsely and outrageously states that Plaintiff has engaged in widespread criminal misconduct and sexual abuse, that Plaintiff turned Whitefish, Montana, into a ‘personal fiefdom’ and ‘banana republic’ where he ‘controls’ law enforcement, and that Plaintiff is another Harvey Weinstein (a convicted serial rapist) and Jeffrey Epstein (the deceased pedophile) — two of the most reviled men in American history,” the new lawsuit says.
“The truth is that Mr. Goguen has been the target of unscrupulous characters and, in connection with the federal prosecution of Matthew Marshall in which Mr. Goguen was the victim and the Government’s primary witness, the FBI and United States Attorney’s Office have found every claim of substantial wrongdoing about Mr. Goguen to be false.”
The Post story, published on November 20, was primarily based on allegations contained in a lawsuit by Matthew Marshall, a former US State Department official who led security operations for Goguen. In the defamation lawsuit, Goguen and his team are asking for a retraction and over $US500 ($AU702) million in damages.
The lawsuit alleged that the 57-year-old billionaire roped Marshall into schemes to hide affairs from his wife, kept a spreadsheet of about 5,000 women with whom he had sex, and repeatedly asked or suggested that Marshall kill people who threatened to expose Goguen’s lifestyle.
The lawsuit described Goguen’s activity as a sex-trafficking operation that recruited, transported, and paid off women for sex, and alleged he used his wealth and influence to silence people in the small town of Whitefish who have accused him of wrongdoing.
Attorneys for Goguen sent a letter to the Post on Sunday demanding a correction and apology for the story, Insider previously reported. Representatives for the Post didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on Goguen’s defamation lawsuit.
Marshall — along with John Maguire, Keegan Bonnet, and Anthony Aguilar, three other ex-employees of Goguen — first filed the lawsuit in February, and revised it significantly in September. Goguen filed a motion to dismiss it earlier this year, arguing his former employees didn’t have the standing to bring the lawsuit and failed to describe a pattern of illegal activity.
Marshall pleaded guilty earlier this year to federal criminal charges of tax evasion and defrauding Goguen. A spokesperson for Goguen accused Marshall of bringing the civil lawsuit in the hopes that it would help him with his criminal case. Goguen’s attorneys said in the letter sent to the Post that the other plaintiffs are Marshall’s former partner, a cousin, and a man who participated in an alleged money laundering scheme with Marshall.
Attorneys for Marshall, Maguire, Bonnet, and Aguilar didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Goguen’s lawsuit was also filed against Post reporter Isabel Vincent, who the billionaire’s team alleged didn’t give them enough time to respond to her questions for the story. The lawsuit alleges the Post “had no interest in the truth and did not reasonably investigate the facts prior to publication. They took none of these steps. Instead, they acted maliciously.”
The suit also named Bill Dial, the former Whitefish police chief, as a plaintiff. The Post story quotes Dial as comparing Goguen to Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein. Dial resigned from the position in August amid professional misconduct allegations in connection with Marshall and is involved in his own civil litigation against Goguen.
An attorney for Dial didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Read Goguen’s entire lawsuit against the New York Post here: