A woman is suing a businessman who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2020, alleging he defamed her by hinting to a third party that she may be involved with sex trafficking even though she co-founded a nonprofit group to fight the problem.

The plaintiff is identified only as Jane Doe in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against Brock Pierce that seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. A representative for Pierce could not be immediately reached.

Pierce, 41, is an entrepreneur known primarily for his work in the cryptocurrency industry. He ran as an independent candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election and is also a former child actor.

Doe is the co-founder and managing partner of a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending sex trafficking globally and has worked with various relief organizations addressing the issue while also appearing before the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the suit states.

Doe was hired by Pierce and Percival Services LLC last August and resigned a month later, the suit states. She had previously worked for Pierce on his presidential campaign in 2020, according to the suit, which does not state the nature of the positions she held with Pierce or why she resigned from the company.

After Doe quit, Pierce “entered into a campaign to slander plaintiff’s good name, character and reputation,” the suit states.

Pierce contacted a third party foundation head and told her that Doe was fired because of her inability to perform her work with the 2020 presidential campaign and with Percival Services, and Pierce also called the plaintiff “litigious,” the suit states.

Pierce further told the third party that he had “heard a rumor that Doe was involved with a sex-trafficking ring for minors” and that he would not be at any conferences where the plaintiff also was attending, the suit states.

As a result, Doe was forced to remove her name from the nonprofit that she co-founded, as well as its website, to protect the organization’s image and reputation, the suit states.

The allegedly false and defamatory statements “would tend to disparage plaintiff’s reputation in the community, excite derogatory opinions about her, hold her up to contempt and impute the quality of her personal and professional reputation,” the suit states.

Doe continues to suffer irreparable injury to her professional and personal reputation and her opportunities for future employment and business relationships have been negatively impacted, according to the suit.

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