Stanford Model Sues Venture Capitalist for Raping Her ‘Hundreds of Times’

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Joe Lonsdale, co-founder of Palantir and venture capitalist at Formation 8 — and  whose all-American boy smile makes him look damn creepy in this context — is being sued by Stanford student and model Elise Clougherty for $75,000 over her claims that he used his executive position to repeatedly rape her, causing her post-traumatic stress disorder.  

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Lonsdale, 32, and Clougherty, 24, dated for a year between 2012 and 2013. They met in New York when Clougherty was a second-year student at Stanford. While taking an entrepreneurship elective, Lonsdale used his leverage to be assigned as Clougherty’s mentor in February of 2012.

Clougherty alleges that at that time, Lonsdale invited her over to his Los Altos house where he “repeatedly forced [her] to have sexual contact without her consent.”

The next month, Clougherty was on a family trip in Spain when Lonsdale asked her to meet in Rome and London. She said he insisted that they would be staying in separate rooms.

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When she arrived, he pushed her to stay stay in his room instead and he “forcefully raped” her throughout the trip. According to the suit:

“Throughout this period, Mr. Lonsdale repeatedly commented to Ms. Clougherty that women needed to be raped to learn to be loyal and that they really enjoyed being raped more than they let on.

“In addition to shaking her violently during sexual assaults, he also began strangling her, slapping her, scratching her, yanking her by the hair so hard that he would lift her torso off the bed, and slamming her body against the walls and bedboards.”

Clougherty also said that he “deprived her of both food and sleep by scheduling late evening and early morning activities, delaying meals, not ordering her enough food and other such tactics.”

“He often would not let her buy tampons and seemed to relish getting her blood everywhere – on her clothing, bed sheets, hotel furniture, car and bus seats, and elsewhere.”

Clougherty alleged that Lonsdale used “many forms of psychological manipulation and control on her, including but not limited to ‘positive intermittent reinforcement,’ ‘gaslighting,’ isolation, sleep deprivation, food deprivation, anger, embarrassment, and guilt.”

When Clougherty returned to Stanford, she filed a complaint, in which the school sided with her; Lonsdale has now been banned from the school for 10 years. She now also claims to suffer from PTSD, and Lonsdale has launched a WordPress site with email evidence that their relationship was consensual and filled with love and affection.

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According to the Daily Mail, an email correspondence between the two shows that “Clougherty tells Lonsdale her ‘perception was warped’ when she met him, having just recovered from an eating disorder during which she was committed.

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Lonsdale is now countersuing for $150,000 in damages, claiming the allegations are “a vicious and vengeful campaign … to destroy his reputation with false and outrageous accusations.”

Clougherty is now a data sciences graduate candidate at the University of Virginia. Both Clougherty and Lonsdale have requested a trial by jury.

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