The PR firm accused of a smear campaign against VC Shervin Pishevar has a scathing response
- The PR firm that VC Shervin Pishevar is suing for defamation fired back on Wednesday.
- Not only did the firm file a motion to dismiss denying all allegations, but it accused Pishevar of using the suit to suppress women from speaking up with allegations of sexual harassment.
The drama surrounding embattled venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar has taken yet another turn.
The PR company that Pishevar is suing has filed a motion to dismiss. And in that motion the company makes all sorts of claims about the motives behind the lawsuit, including allegations that the lawsuit was being used to suppress women from speaking out against Pishevar with allegations of sexual misconduct.
Specifically, Pishevar has sued Definers Public Affairs, alleging it is conducting a smear campaign against him.
Tim Miller, the head of Definers' Silicon Valley office, has continuously denied all allegations and called Pishevar's claims "delusional." On Wednesday Definers formally responded by filing a motion to dismiss.
Definers is known in Washington, D.C. as a Republican-leaning opposition research group. Opposition research is often thought of in terms of digging up dirt on political opponents. Definers recently opened a Silicon Valley office, mostly to offer public relations and government regulation consulting services.
Pishevar filed the lawsuit shortly before several damaging news stories about him were published. This included a news story about being arrested in London when a woman accused him of rape. Pishevar was released, never charged with a crime and the police said they didn't have enough evidence to pursue it.
Since then, five women came forward alleging sexual misconduct by Pishevar, recounting allegations such as groping or showing them lewd pictures.
On Tuesday, Pishevar announced he was taking a leave of absence from all of his business interests including his investment firm, Sherpa Capital, as well as his role on the board at Virgin Hyperloop One, and the boards of his portfolio companies.
Besides denying that it had anything to do with a smear campaign against Pishevar, Definers also claims that Pishevar "has used this suit to harass and intimidate one woman whom the press has named as one of his alleged victims by serving her with a subpoena to depose her."
However, there have been oddities involving all of this. While Pishevar fully admitted that the London arrest had taken place, it turns out that a police report circulated to journalists was fake, according to the London Police. Business Insider has also seen emails from anonymous tipsters using hard-to-trace email addresses involving Pishevar.
In other words, there is some evidence that someone has been attempting to get reporters to look into Pishevar. But, so far, as Definers points out, Pishevar's lawsuit hasn't included much in the way of proof that links Definers to such deeds.
One person close to the situation told Business Insider that the main purpose of the suit would be to dispose people.
Pishevar is perhaps best known as an investor in Uber who has vocally supported former CEO Travis Kalanick. He's also invested in companies like Airbnb, Slack, and many others.
Pishevar declined comment on this motion to dismiss.
When commenting about the motion to dismiss, Miller doubled down: "Our response indicates once again that Mr. Pishevar's claims were delusional and entirely without merit. We had no knowledge of and communicated with no one about the events Mr. Pishevar lays out in his complaint. He has completely fabricated that Definers or anyone working for Definers had any role in this matter," Miller said.
Here's the full copy of the motion.