Sherpa’s Pishevar sues opposition research firm claiming defamation

Sherpa Capital Managing Director Shervin Pishevar has filed suit against a Republican opposition research firm, alleging it spread false stories about him, according to several news reports.

The firm, Definers Public Affairs, denies the claims, the reports said.

The suit claims Definers, its founder Matthew Rhoades and President Joe Pounder were retained by competitors or business adversaries in a smear campaign to damage Pishevar’s business reputation.

This included claiming Pishevar was an agent of the Russian government, a friend of President Vladimir Putin and that he had an incident with a prostitute in Europe, according to the suit. Also alleged is that he paid money to settle a sexual assault claim in London, according to the suit.

According to a statement provided to Axios, Pishevar said he became aware of several false rumors about him, including that he paid money to settle the claim, and was compelled to sue, according to the publication. He also acknowledged he was detained briefly in London connected to a sexual assault allegation, but then de-arrested by British authorities, Axios said.

Definers also provided a statement denying any wrongdoing, according to story on Recode. The claims are delusional, Definers said, according to Recode.

The Axios story can be found here. The Recode story is available here. And a TechCrunch piece is available here.

Photo of Shervin Pishevar speaking before a propulsion open-air test at Hyperloop One in North Las Vegas, Nevada, May 11, 2016.  Reuters/Steve Marcus