Longtime Silicon Valley venture capitalist Michael Goguen has left Sequoia Capital after a woman claiming to be his former sex slave hit him with a pearl-clutching lawsuit that alleges he “continually raped” her over a decade and gave her an STD after she met him in 2001 “while working at a Texas strip club where she was brought by human traffickers,” per TechCrunch.
Amber Baptiste is also accusing Goguen of breach of contract, alleging that when she “could no longer tolerate” his abusive behavior, he signed a contract to pay her $40 million “as compensation for the horrors she suffered at his hands.” But “after paying her $10 million, Mr. Goguen refused to honor the rest of his agreement.”
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) March 14, 2016
Baptiste said in a San Mateo County court filing that Goguen vowed to “help her break free of the human traffickers who held her in perpetual debt.” However, according to the complaint, “Unbeknownst to Ms. Baptiste, Mr. Goguen was a worse predator than the human traffickers who were keeping her in bondage.” What he wanted in return for securing her “freedom” was “increasingly debasing sex acts.”
Her suit claims that most of their encounters involved forced sodomy, that Goguen gave her “high-risk” strains of HPV and that she once required surgery to repair an anal tear after rough sex with him left her bleeding on the floor of a hotel room. The businessman agreed to pay all her medical bills throughout the years he allegedly abused her, but then reneged – triggering a bitter falling out that lead to a 2014 settlement where Goguen said he would pay her $40 million. According to reports, he only paid the first of four $10 million payments, violating a no-contact clause between them, according to NY Daily News.
Check out the video clip below about the lawsuit and allegations.
In her complaint, Baptiste’s legal team said she was abused by Goguen “sexually, physically and emotionally for over 13 years” and during that timeframe, he was married three times. Last week, Goguen’s attorney, Diane Doolittle, responded to the accusations in a statement, saying that her client would file a cross-complaint against Baptiste for extortion.
“The cross complaint will include an enormous amount of evidence, and cite contemporaneous emails and texts, that will help paint a full and complete picture of this entire matter. We will rely on all of this evidence to mount the most vigorous defense possible in court.” Doolittle said.
Goguen filed the counter complaint in San Mateo County Court on Monday, it alleges that Amber is an “exotic dancer” who is “madly in love with him” and simply looking for a big payday. The complaint features a list of racy pictures, text, and email messages from Baptiste that support his claims and depiction of her. Among them: “The love that I hold in my heart for you was instant. It is a perfect love. And to me it is the perfect way to love someone. It is forever and unconditional;” ” love our visits. I feel so blessed to have met you and have been able to maintain a special relationship with you. I can only hope that it continues;” “I know it feels really good when we are together and to me it feels so perfect and I never want to let go of you;” and “I miss you so Much [sic]. My Body Misses you so Much. I love you so Much.”
— 100% Celeb News 24/7 (@celebnews1456) March 15, 2016
Goguen’s counter-complaint says that, “Far from being ‘forcibly sodomized’ and ‘left bleeding alone on the floor of a hotel room… nearly hemorrhaging to death,’ the supposed [injury] was so minor that Mr. Goguen was unaware of it until Ms. Baptiste emailed him after the fact gushing about how wonderful the night was and noting that she was scheduled to have a ‘small surgery’ that was ‘not a big deal.’”
The counter-complaint goes on to assert that after this surgery, Baptiste began to change and made “malicious allegations” that “frightened Mr. Goguen because of what they would do to his personal and professional reputation. He “acquiesced” to the “$40 million that [Baptiste] was demanding” on a variety of conditions, including that she “stay away from Mr. Goguen and stop her harassment.” However, after he began making payments, Amber continued to harass him and make threats against his family, as well as threatening to send him to jail unless he accelerated the payments.
Once Amber violated the confidentiality provisions in their agreement, Michael no longer felt compelled to her. He is seeking “compensation for all damages and losses caused by Ms. Baptiste’s extortion, including but not limited to return of the $10 million she extorted from him.”
Michael Goguen was asked to step down by Sequoia Capital after the company learned about the $40 million agreement, according to CNBC. The company later said on Twitter, “We understand the allegations about Michael Goguen are unproven and unrelated to Sequoia. Still, we decided his departure was appropriate.”
[Images courtesy Joseph Sohm/ShutterStock]