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Shervin Pishevar, co-founder of Sherpa Capital and co-founder of Hyperloop One, is taking an immediate leave of absence from both companies, as well as from his board responsibilities at Sherpa’s portfolio companies.

Pishevar, in his statement via a lawyer, said it was his idea to take a leave of absence and that the decision was not made lightly. Pishevar’s hope is that his absence “will eliminate any potential distraction to the great and important work being done at these companies.”

This comes about a week after multiple women accused Pishevar of sexual misconduct. In response to those allegations, Pishevar, through his lawyer, said the allegations are part of a “smear campaign” against him. One allegation described how Pishevar “forcibly kissed” someone and later showed that same person photos of vaginas on his phone.

Here’s his full statement:

As many of you may have seen in recent news coverage, I filed a lawsuit last month against what I believe to be potential perpetrators of a smear campaign against me. As that legal action progresses, it is my priority to ensure that the Sherpa Capital family is not adversely affected.

Therefore, I have decided to take an immediate leave of absence from my duties at Sherpa Capital and Virgin Hyperloop One, as well as my portfolio company board responsibilities, so that I can pursue the prosecution of my lawsuit, where I am confident I will be vindicated. Through the discovery process, I hope to unearth who fabricated the fraudulent London ‘police report,’ and who is responsible for spreading false rumors about me.

This was a decision I came to and proposed on my own accord. It is not one I took lightly and it was a difficult decision that was guided by Sherpa Capital’s abiding belief in service and putting others before ourselves.

I care deeply about the incredible teams at Sherpa Capital and our portfolio companies and Virgin Hyperloop One, and hope that my decision to take a leave of absence will eliminate any potential distraction to the great and important work being done at these companies.

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