Deep in the Rocky Mountains, the rivers splash and the winds whistle through pine forests, largely untouched by man. Bears roam and eagles soar, one of America’s last true wildernesses. But one Montana town called Whitefish, nestled in the Rocky Mountains, may be hiding a dark secret; the private playground of a tech billionaire with dark designs. CELEB takes a look at the ongoing case of Michael Goguen, along with other billionaire sex scandals that have left people shocked.
Michael Goguen’s ‘Fiefdom’
Goguen is a tech billionaire who has frequently made the Forbes Midas list because he has an uncanny knack for picking the winning tech companies. In 1996, Goguen joined Sequoia Capital – a company you might recognize because they bet big on Apple, Cisco, Google, YouTube, PayPal and Instagram.
Rumors followed the billionaire – now 57 – that he had a bit of an eye for the ladies, which would be no big deal if his ventures were all consensual, right? In 2016, former mistress Amber Baptiste blew that out of the way when she came forward with accusations that he constantly sexually abused her, including “hours of forced sodomy,” according to court papers. The tech investor required her to call him “king” or “emperor” which isn’t a problem if it’s consensual – but this revelation later would support other accusations made against Goguen.
Baptiste claimed that in 2012 she even had to undergo reconstructive surgery due to the damage Goguen wreaked on her body, but Goguen won a countersuit and a restraining order against Baptiste over a three-year battle. Although Baptiste was blocked from filing any more suits against him, Goguen lost when Sequoia Capital gave him the boot.
NY Post reports, “Goguen began spending more time in Whitefish, a town of just over 7,000 residents, where he built a sprawling, 75,000-square-foot mansion with an additional 30,000-square-foot, nuclear-grade bunker that can accommodate up to 25 people for a year. He lives with his fourth wife.
There, he runs several businesses, including Casey’s Whitefish, a pub and restaurant, and Two Bear Capital, a firm that invests in ‘early stage companies with disruptive innovations,’ including biotech and cybersecurity, according to his LinkedIn page. He also funds Two Bear Farm and is behind Two Bear Air Rescue Foundation, a nonprofit that provides ‘world class aviation support’ to law enforcement and others for search and rescue, free of charge.
He started Amyntor Group LLC, a private defense contractor that, at one point, was in line to create a private spy network for the Trump administration, according to BuzzFeed. Negotiations were stalled because Goguen could not obtain a security clearance with the US government because of the allegations of sexual abuse, court papers allege.”
But Goguen wasn’t free of the past. Workout buddy Bryan Nash tried to extort him and was arrested in 2019, threatening to reveal sordid criminal secrets if he didn’t pay $15 million. Enter former Marine Matthew Marshall. Marshall has filed a civil lawsuit against Goguen claiming that he was forced into the role of “Fixer” for the tech investor, paying millions out of his own pocket to hide Goguen’s criminal activities and provide hush money to people who knew too much about the billionaire’s sexual misconduct.
Marshall also says he paid for vacations and other luxuries for women in exchange for them to provide sexual services to Goguen, including performing “deviant” sexual acts. Women would go to the police in Whitefish to report that they had been assaulted by Goguen, only for the billionaire to swoop in and woo the cops, effectively controlling their actions. Marshall had frequent communications with the women who interacted with Goguen and was constantly paying to keep them from going to authorities, aware that the police weren’t going to do much anyway at that point because Goguen made it obvious that he had the police force in his pocket.
Accusations against Goguen include that he slept with his kids’ teenage babysitter in the home of the workout buddy who tried to extort him – this was part of the pile of secrets Nash claims he sat on. But even if you could overlook all of the sex crimes Goguen was allegedly paying his way out of being accountable for, in 2014 things took an even darker turn. NY Post reports, “On Sept. 19, 2014, Goguen allegedly asked Marshall to arrange to kill Nash in a text message on wickr, an encrypted instant messaging platform: ‘He needs to be killed. I know that’s a VERY big ask but we are in defcon 5. We can discuss details in person but we do NOT have conversations about this on our cell phones. Wickr only…’
Marshall has claimed that he refused and tried to ‘dissuade Goguen from going to extreme measures against his enemies.’” But Marshall, like Baptiste and Nash, somehow had the script flipped on him and was indicted on charges of wire fraud, tax evasion and conning Goguen out of millions of dollars, for which he recently accepted a plea agreement.
So is it all sour grapes? Are these jealous or petty people coming at Goguen for a piece of his pie, making the accusations up all the way? Or is Goguen running his own fiefdom in the Rocky Mountains, replete with a harem of women he is sexually exploiting and assaulting, while controlling the police force to avoid charges?
While having sex with 5,000 women – something Goguen allegedly is keeping tack of – is not a crime in and of itself, if any one of the claims by Nash, Marshall and Baptiste are true – he’s an Epstein-like monster harming people with impunity and needs to be stopped. The truth will out, as it always does, but lives hang in the balance while Goguen continues to act freely.
Women Billionaires With Scandalous Secrets
Goguen is far from the only billionaire with a sordid past. While there aren’t many women billionaires, at least two have made headlines for their own sex scandals in the past few years. Here’s at look at the two lady lovers with their own secret pasts:
- Liliane Bettencourt: Bettencourt has a net worth of over $23 billion and per Forbes, “The L’Oreal heiress–Europe’s richest woman–was caught in a very public feud after it emerged she’d been giving millions to close male friend François-Marie Banier, adding him to her life insurance and bequeathing artwork to him in her will. Her daughter became alarmed when Banier, who is in his 60s, tried to get Bettencourt to adopt him. After years of legal wrangling, the mother and daughter agreed to a truce late last year.” While there’s no solid proof that Bettencourt and Banier were sleeping together, it’s all but assured according to witnesses and those close to the drama. And with the potential adoption – that’s a bit creepy, Liliane.
- Susanne Klatten: Klatten’s father ran BMW, and she owns 12.5% of the company, with a net worth of nearly $30 billion. The married mother of 3 was extorted by someone she trusted intimately – her former affair partner, Helg Sgarbi. Sgarbi allegedly filmed the two of them in intimate moments and threatened to bring her empire crashing down if she didn’t pay millions of euros. Klatten called Sgarbi’s bluff, filing suit against the extortion and making it all public herself.
The Darker Side of Billionaire Scandals
Alas, if only affairs gone wrong and weird lover-turned-adoption stories were the extend of the sordid, it would be such a peaceful world. But when the most powerful people in the world have a much, much darker side, we should all be a little worried. Here are some billionaires whose secrets make us worry about how much power the ultra-rich hold, and what it lets them get away with:
- Jeffrey Epstein: His is a name everyone knows by now. Abuser, sexual deviant, sex trafficker, sometimes pimp – Epstein appears to have done all the awful things before his untimely murder-or-suicide in jail in 2019. A pal to some of the most powerful people in the world including US and world leaders and celebrities, Epstein owned an infamous sex island where people could go to have their wildest fantasies come true – even the terrible, illegal ones that involved assaulting minors. Since Epstein’s untimely whatever-you-call-his-death, there are almost certainly very powerful people worrying about what may come to light. Since of course Epstein died without testifying, far more secrets may be buried, which is awfully convenient. However, Epstein’s erstwhile lover and accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell is in jail – and could eventually sing. If of course she doesn’t get suicide-murdered as well.
- Curtis Johnson III: Forbes wrote, “In March  the heir to the SC Johnson cleaning product fortune was charged in a Wisconsin court with repeatedly sexually assaulting his 15-year-old stepdaughter.” In 2014 he pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 4 months in prison. Of course, this was pre-#MeToo, but even so it was a disgusting slap on the wrist for the way he abused his position of power over a child.
- Silvio Berlusconi: Although people often think of Epstein as the dirtiest billionaire to have lived, Berlusconi could fight for the title. Berlusconi served as Prime Minister of Italy from 1994 to 2011, and was known for being a dog and groping women – often even openly. The former media mogul used his position of power and control to access victims, and his wife divorced him in 2009 because she claims he, “consorts with minors.” It became a poorly kept secret that Berlusconi would have sex parties and while rumors always dogged him that he was assaulting minors, his power gave him freedom. Berlusconi has faced some criminal charges for his behavior, including sex charges and tax crimes – but not nearly as many as his reputation would demand.
Knowing how many billionaires committ sex crimes and how few go to prison begs the question: does money buy immunity? The answer would seem to be yes. Goguen has been an ace at avoiding accountability, but his time may be up eventually.