Joseph Lonsdale, a prominent venture capitalist, was banned from Stanford University after model Elise Clougherty accused him of sexual assault. The model claimed that Lonsdale raped her “ten times per day” while they were on vacation together and told her that women needed to be raped to have respect for men. She even claimed that he manipulated her during their year-long relationship, in which she says he abused her violently during sex and left her in mental anguish. However, on Monday, Clougherty dropped the sexual abuse lawsuit and Stanford University announced that Lonsdale was no longer banned from campus. Stanford noted the decision was made to lift the ban following the receipt of “new evidence” in the case.
The Daily Mail reports that Elise Clougherty, a model who attended Stanford University, claimed she was repeatedly raped by her Stanford mentor, venture capitalist Joseph Lonsdale. She says Lonsdale would rape her up to “ten times per day” and would treat her violently during their encounters.
“In addition to shaking her violently during sexual assaults, he also began strangling her, slapping her, scratching her, yanking her by the hair so hard that he would lift her torso off the bed, and slamming her body against the walls and bedboards.”
However, during her initial claims, Clougherty didn’t stop with sexual and physical abuse. She claims that Lonsdale also abused her by breaking her down mentally. She claims the man would deprive her of food, sleep, and comfort in order to control her. She says he used “many forms of psychological manipulation and control on her,” which led to post-traumatic stress syndrome following their relationship.
Despite the claims, Lonsdale maintained his innocence. He noted the pair were in a consensual relationship for one year and that the woman was now trying to ruin his reputation. In fact, Lonsdale presented numerous emails and letters written by Clougherty that seemed to indicate a “loving” relationship between the pair. One of the notes was written after a trip to Rome, during which Clougherty had claimed she was violently raped multiple times per day. However, the note makes no mention of the violence but instead seems to indicate the woman shared a “beautiful moment” with Lonsdale on the trip.
“We shared such a beautiful moment together! If you know what I mean…”
Lonsdale’s lawyers claim there were many other notes that paint a very different picture of the relationship than what Clougherty had claimed in her lawsuit. Therefore, the lawyers submitted a counter-lawsuit against Clougherty noting defamation of character through false sexual assault allegations.
After Elise Clougherty dropped the lawsuit against Lonsdale on Monday, Lonsdale’s lawyers also dropped their counter-lawsuit for defamation. The court records did not disclose any further terms regarding the case aside from the fact that both cases were dropped. Meanwhile, Stanford University announced that Lonsdale could return to campus following the review of “new evidence” in the case.
What do you think about Elise Clougherty dropping the charges against Joseph Lonsdale? Since it appears that no money was paid out to either party and Lonsdale was removed from his Stanford ban, do you think the allegations were false from the start? If Clougherty is admitting that the sexual assault allegations were false, should she issue an official statement to that effect to clear Lonsdale’s name?
[Photo by Brian Ach/ Getty Images]