American tech billionaire who gagged press over hotel rape claim is named

Shervin Pishevar took out an injunction Credit:  Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

An American billionaire, who gagged the British press after being arrested on suspicion of raping a woman at a top London hotel, can now be revealed as technology entrepreneur, Shervin Pishevar.

The businessman took out an injunction which prevented newspapers from naming him, after he was questioned by City of London Police in May,.

He was arrested after a woman claimed she had been attacked in the penthouse suite of the Ned Hotel in the heart of London's financial district.

Last week Mr Pishevar’s name was made public in the United States after details of the arrest became the subject of an extraordinary legal dispute.

Mr Pishevar is Iranian-American venture capitalist, who was one of the early investors in Uber and also co-founded Hyperloop One, the scheme that promises to cut journey times around the globe to a fraction using the latest technology.

The Ned Hotel 
The alleged rape took place at the Ned Hotel in London Credit: Simon Brown 

The Silicon Valley investor launched legal proceedings against a public relations firm he accused of deliberately peddling smears against him.

Despite details of the case being reported in the US media - where the injunction did not apply - the British press was still unable to name him.

But lawyers for Mr Pishevar confirmed that he had been arrested and cleared in connection with the rape allegation, but said many of the details that had appeared in the US media were false.

His representatives claim Mr Pishevar has been the subject of a concerted attempt to damage his reputation and many of the details in the US media relating to his arrest are untrue.

His lawyer said: “In May this year, Mr Pishevar was briefly detained and swiftly exonerated after an untrue allegation of wrongdoing was made. 

“Following such exoneration, by consent, the interim injunction prohibiting reporting of the incident has been lifted.   

“Hence reporting restrictions in relation to the arrest no longer apply. Indeed, Mr Pishevar has himself spoken about the global smear campaign against him, which is the subject of proceedings issued in the United States last week.”

The father-of-two was arrested on the 27th of May this year when a woman went to Bishopsgate Police station in the City of London and told officers she had been raped at the nearby Ned Hotel.

Shervin Pishevar
Mr Pishevar was arrested in May Credit: Michael Kovac /Getty

Mr Pishevar was questioned in relation to the allegations, before being released under investigation.

In June he went to the High Court to prevent the British media identifying him in connection with the case and succeeded in gaining a wide-ranging injunction.

A few weeks later City of London Police confirmed that the investigation had been dropped and there would be no further action taken against the man.

In a statement the force said: "A 43-year-old man from San Francisco was initially arrested on suspicion of rape before being released under investigation. The investigation was completed and reviewed. There was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction therefore no further action was taken against the suspect.”

Mr Pishevar is currently suing a firm called, Definers Public Affairs firm, claiming they have been orchestrating a covert smear campaign against him.

In court papers lodged in California the businessman has alleged that the company has spread false rumours, including suggestions he paid money to his accuser to have the rape case dropped.

In a statement issued last week his spokesman said: “Mr Pishevar is informed that several false rumours have been spread about him, including that he purportedly paid money to settle the claim. 

“That is categorically false. It is because of false rumours like this that [he] was compelled to bring this legal action against Definers to ensure that his reputation is not destroyed and that the truth will always prevail."

A spokesman for Definers has vehemently denied the claims and in a statement said the allegations against them were "completely false".

The statement said: "His claims are delusional, we have never engaged in any of the actions he outlined in this complaint, and Definers has never done any work with regards to [him].”