Virgin Hyperloop One might have a taste for trouble on its board.
The high-speed train startup named Richard Branson to replace a chairman who is engulfed in sexual misconduct accusations — despite the fact that the British billionaire just got slapped with lurid allegations himself.
Branson will take over as Virgin Hyperloop One’s co-executive chairman from Shervin Pishevar, the company said Monday. The latter, a Silicon Valley billionaire, stepped down last week to fight accusations that reportedly have come from at least six women alleging sex harassment, assault and even rape at a swanky London hotel.
But Branson has lately fallen under a cloud himself. Last month, the London Sun reported that singer Antonia Jenae claimed Branson stuck his face between her breasts and proceeded to “motorboat” her while at a 2010 party on the billionaire’s Necker Island in the Caribbean.
“We were by the bar and he was saying bye to everyone. He came up to me and put his face in my breasts,” she told the Sun. “He went ‘brrrrrr’ and just walked away. It was surreal, totally out of the blue.”
Jenae also alleged that Virgin’s shaggy-haired honcho begged her to go topless at the party, according to the Sun, which is owned by News Corp., the parent of The Post.
“His behavior was disgusting,” she told the Sun. “I feel like it was sexual assault.”
A Virgin spokesperson responded to the accusation by telling the Sun that Branson has no recollection of the alleged incident.
“There would never have been any intention to offend or make anyone feel uncomfortable,” the spokesperson said. “Richard apologises if anyone felt that way.”
Virgin Hyperloop didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.
Branson landed on Virgin Hyperloop One’s board as part of a deal that’s injecting $50 million to fund the company’s expansion. The cash is coming from Russia’s Caspian Venture Caputal and Dubai’s DP World, according to an Axios report, which broke the news Monday.
Branson was already on the Hyperloop board following an October investment which saw the company rebrand to Virgin Hyperloop. His ascension to chairman was reportedly key to obtaining the additional funding.