The multi-millionaire inventor of Invisalign has been accused of physical abuse and sexual harassment by his friend’s daughter who he gave a job.
Zia Chishti, 50 allegedly beat 28-year-old Tatiana Spottiswoode while having sex with her on a work trip to Brazil in 2017, leaving her injured.
She alleges he told her that ‘he should have had sex with me when I was 13 years old’, according testimony she gave to a Congressional committee as part of the House Judiciary Democrats’ attempt to pass a bill to end forced arbitration. The bill will be voted on in committee Wednesday.
Former British Prime Minister David Cameron stepped down from his software company Afiniti on Tuesday in light of the allegations. Princess Beatrice is its vice-president of strategy and partnerships
Spottiswoode’s father, James, is listed as a ‘consultant physician’ for Chishti’s company The Resource Group.
Zia Chishti, 50 – the founder of software company Afiniti, which also employs Princess Beatrice as its vice-president of strategy and partnerships – allegedly beat 23-year-old Tatiana Spottiswoode while having sex with her on a work trip to Brazil
Spottiswoode said she met Chishti when she was 12 or 13, and met him again when she was a student at Columbia Law School
Spottiswoode provided photos showing bruises Chishti had left on her neck
Spottiswoode said she met Chishti – who was listed among the top 50 bachelors in America by People Magazine in 2001 – when she was 12 or 13, and met him again when she was a student at Columbia Law School.
She told the committee: ‘When I was in my senior year of college, in December 2014, Chishti, who was 43 at the time, invited me on a ski trip. I was 21.
‘I initially declined, but he insisted he wanted me to meet his nephew, who also studied philosophy. So I agreed. I later learned that the nephew, who never showed up, didn’t exist.’
‘The trip was designed to groom me. Chishti told me he had feelings and showed me an extravagant lifestyle.’
Spottiswoode said she rejected him, but eventually dated him about five times over 10 weeks before eventually breaking off the relationship.
She continued: ‘Months later, Chishti encouraged me to join his company. He presented a rosy picture of a great career opportunity. I believed him. Chishti told me he did not expect a sexual relationship.’
Elisabeth Murdoch, media executive and daughter of Rupert Murdoch, is an investor in Afiniti
Princess Beatrice is Afiniti’s vice-president of strategy and partnerships
When Spottiswoode joined his company in 2016, she said she signed a contract that included an arbitration agreement with a ‘strong confidentiality clause’.
She went on to describe a toxic work environment, saying he ‘ocellated between pressurizing me for sex and punishing me’.
‘During a work meeting in Dubai, he put his hands under my pants and grabbed my but in front of co-workers,’ she said.
Spottiswoode went on to describe another work trip to Brazil.
‘I avoided him as much as I could, but was under increasing pressure from him. I began to worry that, in addition to wanting sex, Chishti wanted to hurt me and punish me for rejecting him,’ she said.
‘I felt completely trapped and hopeless. I was 23 and very far from home.
‘I didn’t want to lose my job, I didn’t want him to get any angrier, I did not feel that anyone would protect me and I was too tired to argue with him anymore. I went to his room where he beat me while having sex with me.
‘I told him he was hurting me, he said, ”Good”. He told me he should’ve had sex with me when we first met, when I was 13-years-old.
‘I hid in my hotel room until my flight the next day. My body was covered with scratches, cuts, and contusions.
‘I had bruises around my neck that looked like I had been strangled, a large bump on my head, and a black eye. A nurse at the hospital said I had the symptoms of a concussion.’
‘Today, as I speak here, I am afraid of the consequences for my family that will arise from my speaking out. I have PTSD, I have nightmares, I used to be a very social person and I no longer am,’ Spottiswoode added. ‘The person who changed my life forever continues to abuse me because forced arbitration gives him the power to do it in secret.’
Cameron, 55, joined Afiniti as the chairman of its advisory board in 2019, two years after the incident is alleged to have taken place.
A source close to the former prime minister told The Daily Telegraph he did not know about the allegations until they were aired in Congress.
The claims threaten to create a new controversy for the former prime minister following the collapse of finance company Greensill.
Mr Cameron, 55, joined Afiniti as the chairman of its advisory board in 2019, two years after the incident is alleged to have taken place
Earlier this year, Cameron escaped punishment despite privately lobbying ministers in efforts to secure access to an emergency coronavirus loan scheme for Greensill Capital before its collapse.
Afiniti said: ‘We take any allegations of this nature extremely seriously.
‘Afiniti has investigated Spottiswoode’s claims with independent counsel and concluded that the arbitral decision she references was erroneous.
‘Afiniti’s CEO and chair Zia Chishti strongly disputes all accusations against him.’
Cameron’s spokesman said today: ‘The alleged events took place before David Cameron started working for Afiniti and he had absolutely no knowledge of them until just before yesterday’s Congressional hearing.
‘Mr. Cameron understands that the allegations are disputed, but strongly disagrees with the approach being taken by the company in responding to the matter. He made this view clear to Mr. Chishti yesterday.
Chishti claims his main address as 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue, just down the block from the White House in Washington
‘Mr. Cameron has therefore resigned as chairman of the company’s advisory board with immediate effect. He does so with regret, given the success and promise of this exciting company, and the commitment, dedication and loyalty of the many hard-working employees with whom he has enjoyed working.’
Chishti, born in Maine under the name Wilson Lear to an American father and Pakistani mother, graduated from Columbia University and got his MBA at Stanford, where he came up with the idea for Invisalign.
He went on to work at Morgan Stanley and McKinsey before co-founding Invisalign with Kelsey Wirth.
Afiniti provides artificial intelligence software for managing call centers. According to its website, their technology ‘uses artificial intelligence to identify subtle and valuable patterns of human interaction in order to pair individuals on the basis of behavior, leading to more successful interactions and measurable increases in enterprise profitability.’
Chishti, who gives no public record of a wife or other family, founded the company in Washington in 2005, just two years after leaving Invisalign, which provided those who needed braces with a clear, invisible option. When he left, the company was valued at $1billion.
The company counts Caesars’ Entertainment, AXA Direct Insurance, AA roadside insurance and G6 Hospitality as clients. Spokespersons for these companies have yet to respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Chishti claims his main address as 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue, just down the block from the White House in Washington. He also claims addresses in California, New York and Maryland.