A Silicon Valley venture capitalist has been sued for $40 million by a
woman who claims he used her as a virtual sex slave for 13 years.
Michael Goguen, who had worked for a firm that funded Google and
Paypal, “sexually and physically” abused Amber Laurel Baptiste over more
than 13 years after picking her up at a Texas strip club, her lawsuit
Baptiste, who claims she was brought to the United States from Canada
by human traffickers at 15, said she endured “countless hours of forced
sodomy” from the tech titan.
The former stripper said Goguen made her endure demeaning sexual acts,
sodomized her for “six hours at a time,” and forced her to call him
“king” and “emperor.”
Filed in San Mateo County, Calif., on March 8, her suit details a life
of torture and servitude as she was jetting around the globe to serve as
the millionaire’s plaything.
She claims Goguen had promised to save her from human trafficking but
instead became an even worse predator himself.
Goguen, who was forced to step down from his position at Sequoia
Capital, did not deny that the two had a sexual relationship but
insisted the sex was consensual.
He filed a countersuit against Baptiste claiming she is an “exotic
dancer . . . looking for a payday.”
The venture capitalist said Baptiste was obsessed with him and sought
to extort him because she was jealous of his wife.
In his countersuit, Goguen provides pages of texts and emails in which
she apparently refers to him as “Prince Charming,” “My Beautiful Love”
and “the sweetest man in the world.”
The suit includes Bapiste’s descriptions of the “amazing sex” the two
had together and photos that she allegedly sent him in which she is seen
playfully posing in her underwear.
Baptiste is demanding $40 million, saying the two agreed on the amount
to compensate her for the horrors she had suffered.
Goguen, who has already paid her $10 million, said she is “a woman
scorned” and a victim “of her own delusions.”
He claims that when he tried to end their relationship, Baptiste became
bent on vengeance, threatening to ruin his life and reputation.
He said that he had no choice but to pay her the $10 million, but that
she refused to relent and demanded more money.
Sequoia Capital released a statement that called Goguen’s departure
from the firm the “appropriate course of action.”
A philanthropist, Goguen was lauded for donating $2 million to fight
online child pornography and sex trafficking where he lives in Montana.
Goguen is not the only business leader who’s faced backlash
over sexually inappropriate behavior.
Investors are disappointed in the news, sending shares south
in morning trading.
Chinese buyers refuse to purchase Tesla's because they are
Tesla shares tumble after lackluster
disappointed investors Wednesday, announcing that it delivered 90,700
vehicles during the fourth quarter — short of Wall Street forecasts
despite its efforts to ramp up production.
Tesla also said it boosted production during the quarter, churning out
86,500 vehicles, up from 80,142 during the third quarter.
The electric car maker's shares fell by more than 9 percent in morning
"Tesla shares tend to a have a lot more noise and volatility than
most, but we think investors who are willing to take a longer-term view
of the story will be rewarded handsomely and continue to believe Tesla
is on track to post one of the market's most robust year-over-year
earnings increases in 2019," said CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson.
The company also announced that it's cutting prices on all of its
models by $2,000 to help offset a reduction in federal tax credits for
drivers who buy electric vehicles. The $7,500 federal tax credit for
Tesla cars was cut in half as of Tuesday.
Although the delivery numbers were 2,000 fewer than expected in a
FactSet survey of analysts, Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives told
CNBC they were consistent with his prediction. He said the cut in prices
was likely weighing on the stock.
"It was a move that was within the realm of possibility, but it caught
investors off guard," he said.
Bearish investors are likely interpreting the price cut as an attempt
to stimulate demand, but Ives said it was more of a way to soften the
blow from the tax credit drop.
The company delivered 8 percent more vehicles during the quarter, a new
all-time high, but the numbers were fewer than expected by Wall Street.
The company said it delivered 63,150 Model 3s, 13,500 Model S sedans and
14,050 Model X SUVs. Wall Street analysts had forecast 92,000 total
deliveries — 64,900 for the Model 3, 14,200 for the Model S and 13,600
for the Model X, according to average estimates analysts compiled by
FactSet. The numbers vary since FactSet tracks nine analysts on total
deliveries, but not all analysts break out the data for each model.
FactSet does not compile average estimates on Tesla's production.
Tesla's own internal tracking of Wall Street analysts show that its
deliveries were in line with or above estimates, spokesman Dave Arnold
said. The company tracks 22 analysts that forecast an average of 91,046
deliveries during the quarter, according to data compiled by Tesla.
gave investors hope that its production rates would improve,
saying that the number of labor hours to build the Model 3 fell by more
than 30 percent from the second to the third quarter. The company also
told investors in late October that it took less time to build than the
Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle — another first for the
"We will focus even further on cost improvements while continuing to
increase our production rate" during the fourth quarter, the company
said at the time.
CEO Elon Musk
announced Oct. 23 that the company planned to limit
certain options on its higher-end Model S sedans and Model X SUVs
to streamline production. The company also announced plans during the
fourth quarter to start selling a $45,000
version of the Model 3, before raising the price $46,000. It has
yet to produce the base Model 3, which it has promised for a price of
$35,000 before incentives.
Tesla builds its vehicles in a circus tent, as shown below, which
further underscores the carny atmosphere created by Elon Musk's hype