Following a report that detailed numerous sexual harassment and assault allegations against Shervin Pishevar, the venture capitalist is taking a leave of absence from Virgin Hyperloop One and VC firms Sherpa Capital and Silicon Foundry. Pishevar released a statement today announcing his departure, saying that it was his own decision. He noted that he is going to focus on the defamation lawsuit he filed against Definers Public Affairs, the organisation Pishevar has claimed is responsible for a "smear campaign" against him.
Below is Pishevar's statement in full:
Shervin Pishevar takes leave from Hyperloop, Sherpa Capital and all of his portfolio board responsibilities to "pursue the prosecution of his lawsuit," says he "came to the decision of his own accord" pic.twitter.com/TVcdiARQBw
— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) December 5, 2017
A Sherpa Capital spokesperson told Gizmodo that it "has never received a sexual harassment complaint", but said the firm is "launching an independent internal review to ensure our practices and operations continue to reflect the highest professional and ethical standards". Here is the spokesperson's full statement in response to Pishevar's departure:
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.
We recognise the inherent challenges of reporting misconduct, but note that Sherpa has never received a sexual harassment complaint. Nevertheless, we are launching an independent internal review to ensure our practices and operations continue to reflect the highest professional and ethical standards.
Our team remains focused on supporting our portfolio companies, investing in outstanding founders, and serving the interests of our Limited Partners.
Ahead of Pishevar's announcement that he would take "an immediate leave of absence", Bloomberg published a scathing report of his history of alleged sexual misconduct, describing situations in which Pishevar allegedly used his professional clout to make nonconsensual advances on women who were looking for opportunities in the industry.