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VC Shervin Pishevar reportedly accused of sexual harassment

Several women have accused the early Uber investor of making unwanted sexual advances, Bloomberg reports.

Hyperloop Technologies co-founder Shervin Pishevar speaks at Web Summit 2015.

Venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar says he's the target of a smear campaign.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Shervin Pishevar, a prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist, is being accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, according to a Bloomberg report Thursday.

Pishevar, an early investor in Uber, sexually assaulted or harassed six women he met in a professional context, including early Uber employee Austin Geidt, the news agency reported. In each case, the women, who requested anonymity, accused Pishevar of exploiting the promise of a professional connection to make an unwanted sexual advance, Bloomberg reported.

The report comes amid a slew of controversies involving men behaving badly in the tech world, as well as in entertainment, politics and media. The incidents have prompted several executives at venture capital funds to step down, and raises broader questions of how women are treated in these fields.

Geidt, Uber's head of global expansion, was the target of unsolicited touching on her leg during a party, colleagues told Bloomberg. Another accuser is a female entrepreneur who says Pishevar groped and forcibly kissed her, while another female entrepreneur related how Pishevar showed her pornographic images during a party, Bloomberg reported.

The report comes after Pishevar was arrested in May for allegedly sexual assaulting a 31-year-old woman in a London hotel but not charged, according to a Fast Company report earlier this month. A police spokesperson said there was "insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, therefore no further action was taken against the suspect," the Fast Company report said.   

Pishevar couldn't immediately be reached for comment but a spokesman told Axios that the stories were "untrue" and called the venture capitalist "the victim of an organized smear campaign, which so far has involved the fabrication of a London 'police report.'

"The assertions regarding the only person named have now been directly refuted by an eyewitness to the claimed events, and there are communications sent from the named person herself to Mr. Pishevar which directly undermine any credibility being given to the claims made," the spokesman continued, according to Axios. "Just as the London 'police report' turned out to be fabricated, we are confident that these anecdotes will be shown to be untrue as well. Mr. Pishevar is confident that he will be vindicated."

Pishevar isn't the only VC to have allegedly harassed women. Steve Jurvetson, one of Silicon Valley's most high-profile venture capitalists, left his namesake firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, earlier this month amid a sexual harassment investigation, according to Recode.   

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Binary Capital co-founder Justin Caldbeck left his job in June after a story in The Information said he'd allegedly made sexual advances at female entrepreneurs. Chris Sacca of Lowercase Capital and Dave McClure of 500 Startups issued public apologies after being named in a report later that month by The New York Times about sexual harassment in the technology startup industry.

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