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Silicon Valley's VC Firm Partner Dismissed Over Disturbing Lawsuit of Sexual Abuse

Mar 14, 2016 10:32 AM EDT

A former managing partner at Silicon Valley's Sequoia Capital, Michael Goguen, in facing a lawsuit over alleged sexual, physical, and emotional abuse of a woman. Even though the lawsuit wasn't related to Sequoia Capital, the firm has announced to had let him go.

The woman, Amber Laurel Baptiste, who filed the lawsuit on March 8, described that she first met Mr Goguen in 2001 when she was just 15. According to the documents, as revealed by TechCrunch, Baptiste was a victim of human trafficking and was sold to a strip club where she met Mr Goguen. He promised to help her break free of the traffickers but then involved her into his own "constant sexual abuse".

The relationship lasted for 12 years, across Mr Goguen's three former marriages. The accusations are described in detailed graphics in the files. Among them, a complaint states that in 2011, "Ms. Baptiste discovered that Mr. Goguen had infected her with several high-risk strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), putting her at risk of various cancers, including cervical cancer, which could require a hysterectomy and prevent her from being able to bear children."

When confronted with the fact that he had infected Ms Baptiste with HPV, Mr Goguen agreed to pay her expenses as compensation for the sexual abuse and the infection. However, he had only paid it for roughly a year before he refused to continue making the payments in mid-2013.

In response to the disturbing lawsuit, Mr Goguen said in a LinkedIn post that he's being extorted after their relationship went "sour", as reported by CNN Money. He also plans to file a "cross-complaint" on Monday, unveiling how Baptiste was his former lover and is now extorting him. He promised to include evidence to proof his claim, including Ms Baptiste's emails and text messages across their many years.

In the wake of the disturbing accusations, the Sequoia Capital firm has decided to ask Mr Groguen to leave. The firm, whose early-stage investments include tech giants like Apple, Google, YouTube, Paypal and Dropbox, said in a statement as quoted by The Guardian, "We understand that these allegations of serious improprieties are unproven and unrelated to Sequoia. Nevertheless, we came to the decision that Mike's departure was the appropriate course of action."

The accusations of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse in Mr Goguen's part has led him to be dismissed from the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. Mr Goguen, on the other hand, is seeking to prove that the allegations are wrongful and that the woman who filed the lawsuit was his lover with consent. 

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