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Tesla board member denies harassment claims

Tesla board member denies harassment claims
Posted at 9:11 AM, Nov 15, 2017

Prominent tech investor Steve Jurvetson is denying the misconduct allegations against him.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Jurvetson said the reason for his departure from the venture capital firm he co-founded on Monday had nothing to do with "sexual predation" or "workplace harassment."

"How does one respond to accusations so serious that being innocent is not a good enough defense?" he wrote. "Let me be clear: no such allegations are true."

Jurvetson, 50, was a partner at prominent VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. He is also a board member and investor at Tesla and SpaceX, but as of Monday, he's currently on leave.

According to Jurvetson, he left the firm "because of interpersonal dynamics with my partners" and "stress."

In October, DFJ said it became aware of "indirect and second-hand allegations" about Jurvetson. The company launched an independent investigation, but it did not provide details on the allegations of misconduct.

"It is excruciating to learn just how quickly, in one news cycle, people conclude that because I have left DFJ there must be some credence to vicious and wholly false allegations about sexual predation and workplace harassment," wrote Jurvetson.

He clarified that the DFJ investigation "began not with a complaint, but with unsubstantiated rumors."

Jurvetson's departure comes on the heels of other investor resignations over misconduct allegations. 500 Startups cofounder Dave McClure and Binary Capital cofounder Justin Caldbeck left their respective firmsthis summer after multiple women came forward with allegations of workplace sexual harassment. Both men have issued apologies for their behavior.

While the women made their claims public about McClure and Caldbeck, there are no public claims against Jurvetson.

"The three-month investigation, that has yet to conclude (and I welcome the results whenever that takes place), broke down a normal team dynamic into factions that isolate communications and defer to the advice of lawyers," Jurvetson added.

"Add a modicum of stress (such as implied allegations in the press) and deadlines (our annual LP meeting is today), and people show a different side of their personality. I did. So did my partners. It's incredibly sad to see how things broke down, and the acrimony that arose between us."

Jurvetson also alluded to a "personal relationship (one that doesn't involve employees, or prospective employees, or others in the workplace)" as a contributing factor to his stress.

"I have also learned that an ill-advised relationship, where the other person is left feeling hurt, angry or scorned, can have far reaching consequences in the digital age," he wrote. "It is inaccurate and unfair to describe any of this as harassment or predation."