Former Google chief Eric Schmidt isn’t usually enamored of sharing his (apparently numerous) women with hedge fund managers. But sometimes, they apparently come in handy. Especially when you’re going to Davos with your wife and your girlfriend, and you don’t want to explain your flexible approach to marriage to the world’s economic leaders, and you happen to own a significant chunk of a hedge fund one of whose top people would be the perfect beard for the situation. The only problem is if that fact is not terribly well-known within that hedge fund, and then the beard leaves said hedge fund in a rather acrimonious way, and then the hedge fund is looking to dig up dirt on said beard, and hey who was that woman he was at Davos with, anyway? Maybe something useful to us, like a hooker?
As part of their efforts, D.E. Shaw lawyers also implied to other employees that an escort had stayed with Michalow when he represented the fund at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2018, according to two people familiar with the matter.
But this female companion was in fact the girlfriend of Eric Schmidt, who owns 20 percent of the fund, and she is also a close friend of Michalow’s, according to the people familiar with the situation. The woman was staying with Michalow as Schmidt was at Davos with his wife of 39 years, Wendy.
The bizarre twist was revealed when D.E. Shaw lawyers forced Michalow’s attorneys to turn over photographs of the woman with Schmidt and text messages sent to and from Michalow while he was at Davos as part of a discovery request in the legal war.
Hmm, awkward. How awkward? Really awkward.
The embarrassing text messages about Schmidt’s personal life, reviewed by The Daily Beast, include one from D.E. Shaw Managing Director Max Stone, who is on D.E. Shaw’s five-person executive committee…. “Any photos from lunch? And did Eric Schmidt have any of his 18-year-old girlfriends with him?”
Records of a phone call between D.E. Shaw General Counsel Martin Lebwohl and a former senior executive at the firm demonstrate the dirt-digging into Michalow centered on his time at Davos and his female guest.
Lebwohl, unaware that the female guest was the girlfriend of his paymaster, repeatedly asked about Davos, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Luckily, outing the polyamorous schemes of a key investor isn’t the only scheme D.E. Shaw’s got going to slime Michalow, hopefully without getting any on any other important personages.
One female employee, who was contacted on behalf of a senior lawyer at the company, told The Daily Beast it was clear D.E. Shaw was looking for dirt on Michalow.
“They were looking into an investigation into Dan and they asked if I was willing to participate,” the woman said, recalling the conversation she had with a former colleague.
“I said, you didn’t give a shit when I was actually being sexually harassed at the firm, and I told tell them to go fuck themselves.”