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Settlement in lawsuit against billionaire Richard Liu

Liu allegedly raped a former University of Minnesota Student in 2018. The jury trial would have begun Monday morning.
Image by Courtesy of Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via Associated Press
The settlement’s details remain unknown.

Chinese billionaire and founder of Richard Liu agreed on a settlement on Sunday in the lawsuit against him from a former University of Minnesota student, but the settlement’s details remain unclear.

The lawsuit stated Liu allegedly raped the former student in 2018. Richard Liu, also known as Liu Qiangdon, denied raping the student, Jingyao Liu, and prosecutors never filed charges. In a joint statement from both parties’ attorneys, the encounter was a “misunderstanding.” 

“The incident between Ms. Jingyao Liu and Mr. Richard Liu in Minnesota in 2018 resulted in a misunderstanding that has consumed substantial public attention and brought profound suffering to the parties and their families,” according to the statement. “Today, the parties agreed to set aside their differences and settle their legal dispute in order to avoid further pain and suffering caused by the lawsuit.”

Jingyao was a volunteer at the Doctor of Business Administration program at the Carlson School of Management in 2018 and was invited to attend a dinner with Liu and other businessmen in Uptown. She said Liu encouraged her to drink an excessive amount of alcohol. Liu allegedly raped Jingyao at her apartment later that night. 

This lawsuit was the first instance of sexual assault allegations made against a billionaire, according to University law professor Richard Painter. The suit was also a rare instance of a Chinese woman seeking legal charges against a man in an American courtroom

Before the settlement was announced, the jury trial was set to begin Monday morning.

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