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Judge dismisses lawsuit against Whitefish philanthropist

Judge dismisses lawsuit against Whitefish philanthropist


A California judge has dismissed a civil lawsuit against Whitefish philanthropist and Two Bear Air benefactor Michael Goguen.

Goguen was sued in early 2016 by a woman who claimed he sexually, physically and emotionally abused her for over 13 years, and later failed to pay her $40 million as part of a contract to sever their relationship.

The Silicon Valley investor, who was ousted from Sequoia Capital after the lawsuit, fired back at Amber Baptiste, calling the claims a "vile collection of lies" and counter-sued Baptiste almost immediately. 

Judge Read Ambler wrote in his order, filed in San Mateo County Court on Wednesday, that plaintiff Baptiste had repeatedly and willfully refused court orders to turn over information in the case. 

"While Baptiste is free to believe what she wants to believe, the orders are binding on Baptiste, and her failure to comply with the orders is unacceptable," Ambler wrote. 

Diane Doolittle, Goguen's attorney, in an emailed statement on Thursday said Baptiste had "perjured herself, concealed, destroyed and falsified key evidence" in order to tear down the Whitefish businessman. 

"The case began as a 'fatal attraction' and morphed into a campaign of extortion, fraud and defamation," Doolittle wrote. "Mr. Goguen looks forward to complete vindication when his counter-suit and the related federal criminal prosecution are complete."

Another California businessman, Bryan Gregg Waterfield Nash, who joined the civil lawsuit in support of Baptiste, was recently indicted on extortion charges related to her claims. Federal prosecutors alleged in June that Nash used Baptiste's claims to try to extort $15 million dollars from Goguen by threatening to expose him to claims by other women. 

"Finally met your grim reaper and he waits at your door," Nash wrote, according to the federal complaint. 

In Nash's case, Goguen is identified as "Businessman 1." Doolittle told the Missoulian in August that her client had been victim to Nash's extortion attempts for years. 

Nash pleaded not guilty to the charges on Aug. 13.

Baptiste appears to be representing herself in the California case. An email request for comment to Baptiste's address included in court documents was not immediately returned Thursday.

Goguen's counter suit against Baptiste will continue, Doolittle said. 

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