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Nikola’s Trevor Milton faces new sexual assault claim

Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous, Brian Sozzi, and Ines Ferre discuss the sexual assault claims against Nikola founder Trevor Milton.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Nikola founder Trevor Milton is in some more hot water this morning. A second woman has now come forward with formal sexual assault accusations against him. It comes just days after Milton stepped down as executive chairman of the electric truck maker amid fraud allegations by a short seller.

Yahoo Finance's Ines Ferre has the details. So Ines, I'm looking at Nikola in the premarket, down about 3%. But I understand the company has released a statement in response to those allegations to Yahoo Finance. What are they saying?

INES FERRE: They did, a spokesperson for Trevor Milton, now, Nikola did-- had no comment, but a spokesperson for Trevor Milton, the founder of Nikola who stepped down as executive chairman just over a week ago, said the following. "Mr. Milton strongly denies these false allegations. At no point in his life has Mr. Milton ever engaged in any inappropriate physical contact with anyone."

These allegations stem from two women who allege that when they were 15 years old, they were sexually assaulted by Trevor Milton. The first one is Aubrey Ferrin Smith, who is a cousin of Milton who has been vocal on Twitter about this. She had gone on Twitter shortly after Milton resigned as executive chairman and claimed that he groped her on the day of their grandfather's funeral in 1999.

She was 15 at the time, he would have been 17. She has filed a formal complaint with local police recently. She had spoken about this publicly also during the #MeToo Movement on Twitter, though, not naming her cousin by name. And several days ago, she also tweeted about this again.

The second incident allegedly took place in 2004, and this is a woman who claimed that she was 15 at the time, and she had been hired by Milton to be an assistant at the security firm, which he had at the time. The woman is now 32. She had told CNBC that Milton had groped her and put his hands down her pants at the time of the alleged incident.

Again, Milton's spokesperson denying any wrongdoing, denying what they call false allegations.

BRIAN SOZZI: And Ines, this comes on the heels, tomorrow, very important day for Nikola and its potential partnership with GM.

INES FERRE: That's right. That is when-- tomorrow is when that deal is set to close that partnership with GM that has been watched so closely. Really, since the Hindenburg, a report came out with many allegations against Nikola, so we'll all be watching to see that deal, which is supposed to close by tomorrow.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, things have turned very ugly very fast for Trevor Milton. Ines Ferre, thank you.