Nikola founder sues Utah businessman for defamation over tweets about women

Nikola founder Trevor Milton has sued a Utah businessman for defamation, accusing him of a “malicious campaign to harass” and discredit the billionaire by publicly accusing him over Twitter of sexually abusing women, according to the lawsuit filed Monday.

David Bateman, the founder and CEO of software company Entrata, started tweeting about Milton in late September, posting screenshots of conversations he allegedly had with women who said Milton tried to sexually assault them or propositioned them for sex with other men. In some cases, Bateman posted screenshots from women of conversations they had with Milton. One showed Milton allegedly offering to pay a woman $2,000 to “hook up” with a guy in Las Vegas if he could pick out the man. 

The nine-page lawsuit filed in Utah federal court says Bateman “engaged in a malicious campaign to harass and defame Mr. Milton, using Bateman’s Twitter account to publish a series

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Two women file sexual abuse complaints against Nikola founder Trevor Milton

  • Milton’s cousin Aubrey Ferrin Smith filed a formal complaint Saturday with the local police in Holladay, Utah, saying he groped her bare breasts when she was 15 in 1999. 
  • Her police report follows accusations she’s lobbed at Milton over social media.
  • A second woman has come forward accusing Milton of sexual abuse when she was 15 and working as an assistant in a security company he was running in 2004, according to her attorney.



a man wearing a suit and tie in front of a car: Trevor Milton CEO of Nikola


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Trevor Milton CEO of Nikola

Two women have come forward with formal sexual assault allegations against Nikola founder Trevor Milton, accusing the 38-year-old billionaire in complaints filed with Utah authorities of sexual abuse when both women were 15 years old.

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The accusations, stretching back more than 15 years ago, follow Milton’s resignation as executive chairman of Nikola on Sept. 21 after short seller Hindenburg Research released a damning report detailing

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Nikola founder Trevor Milton accused of sexual abuse by two women

Two women have come forward with formal sexual assault allegations against Nikola founder Trevor Milton, accusing the 38-year-old billionaire in complaints filed with Utah authorities of sexual abuse when both women were 15 years old.

The accusations, stretching back more than 15 years ago, follow Milton’s resignation as executive chairman of Nikola on Sept. 21 after short seller Hindenburg Research released a damning report detailing fraud allegations. The report has reportedly sparked inquiries into Milton and Nikola by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice.

Through a spokesman, Milton “strongly denied” what he said were false allegations and declined to address the specific details of the women’s complaints. 

Since the Hindenburg report dropped a little over two weeks ago, the shareholder lawsuits and personal attacks on social media have started to pour in.

The turnabout for Milton has been swift. The company went public June 4 and Milton

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