Clougherty and Lonsdale had been dating over the previous couple of weeks, while he was her assigned mentor for an undergraduate course at Stanford called Technology Entrepreneurship, Engineering 145. The limited-enrollment class offered a combination of academics, business skills and access to Silicon Valley that has made Stanford the most-sought-after university in the country, with the most competitive undergraduate admissions and among the highest donations. More than any other school, Stanford is the gateway to the tech world, and computer science is the most popular major. Each year, new young multimillionaires are minted, some just months after graduation.When I was a young man working at my father's very successful technology company, every secretary, cleaning girl, and marketing assistant made their interest in me clear. But I never did more than take one of them to lunch once - a risk worth taking because she was even prettier than her best friend, who was the reigning Miss Minnesota at the time - because I knew a) there were plenty of girls on the girl tree who didn't work for Daddy, and, b) the moment something didn't happen to go a girl's way, there was probably some sort of sexual harassment shakedown waiting to happen.
Lonsdale, who also went to Stanford, made much of his fortune by helping to start Palantir Technologies, a major data-mining company. He was among the “top entrepreneurs and venture capitalists,” according to the course description, many of them alumni, who came to campus as mentors for E145. “Students will learn how to tell the difference between a good idea in the dorm and a great scalable business opportunity,” the E145 handbook for mentors says. “Guide them and challenge them.” Stanford students are well aware of how valuable these contacts are. Around the time Clougherty took E145, another student’s project, a virtual-payment app, attracted an investment from a Google board member who was a guest speaker in the course. It became the start-up Clinkle, with initial financing of $25 million.
After sightseeing in Rome, Lonsdale and Clougherty were together in the hotel room they were sharing when she started dressing for evening Mass. Lonsdale came up behind her and kissed her, touching her neck and hair and telling her she was beautiful. She had told him she was a virgin. Both agree they had sex. But what actually went on between them that night, and throughout their yearlong relationship, would become highly contested. After the relationship ended, Clougherty accused Lonsdale of sexual assault. Stanford investigated whether he broke the university’s rule against “consensual sexual and romantic relationships” between students and their mentors and, later, whether he raped her. The findings from the investigations have sparked a war of allegations and interpretations, culminating last month with dueling lawsuits, filled with damaging accusations.
(There was never a second date because the girl ate like a freaking HORSE. I mean, she put away about four times what I ate, and I was lifting weights and doing heavy martial arts at the time. I correctly anticipated that she would blow up, which she did within 18 months. Damned shame. She was genuinely beautiful.)
Work can be a great place to meet women. An Adobe executive once gave me an amount of stick for treating one department there like a candy store. There are hot girls just out of college in practically every big corporation's marketing department. But don't date the women who work for the same company you do and especially don't get involved with any woman over whom you have any sort of authority, or for whom you have any sort of responsibility.
Note that even the smartest, best-educated women exhibit this sort of hypergamy. And why not? It's easier than actually working.