Leon Black rejects claims he raped and harassed Russian model


Leon Black has forcefully rejected claims that he raped and stressed a tender Russian type, branding the lady’s lawsuit “a piece of fiction”, and contending that textual content messages and audio recordings display that he has “change into the sufferer of a prison extortion scheme”.

Legal professionals for the billionaire disregarded his accuser, Guzel Ganieva, as a “fabulist”. They demanded {that a} courtroom strike “scandalous” and “prejudicial” sections of her grievance, together with a declare that he “derived excitement” from humiliating and debasing her, and that he didn’t care “about being noticed out with different younger girls, steadily of Russian descent”.

The reaction marks Black’s newest effort to comprise the fallout from a sequence of allegations surrounding his non-public existence and trade pursuits out of doors Apollo International Control, the $455bn funding team he co-founded in 1990.

Black stepped down from all his positions at Apollo in March, weeks after it used to be published that he had paid the overdue paedophile Jeffrey Epstein $158m for monetary recommendation and different skilled services and products.

Ganieva filed her lawsuit in June, claiming that Black had subjected her to “pressured sadistic sexual acts” sooner than ordering her to signal a non-disclosure settlement and mentioning: “If you don’t take the cash, I can put you in jail.”

In a submitting in New York state excellent courtroom on Monday, Black’s attorneys published the life of tape recordings that they are saying inform “a stunningly other tale” — and turn out that the billionaire by no means uttered the ones phrases.

Black’s attorneys say he met Ganieva “at a personal birthday party thrown yearly through a former colleague” and started a dating that used to be “informal, episodic, and entirely consensual”.

“Ganieva it sounds as if noticed a golden price ticket,” Black’s attorneys wrote. “She again and again requested for things like a dear condominium condo at the Higher East Aspect . . . a luxurious automotive; lavish holidays . . . college tuition (for appearing and at Columbia College); jewelry and clothes; a Steinway piano; a $40,000 commissioned portrait of herself (which she stored hung in her condo); and lots of, many items of money — all totalling within the tens of millions of greenbacks.”

Monday’s submitting contradicts Ganieva’s account of a 2014 incident throughout which she alleged that Black “barged in” to her condo and raped her. Black’s attorneys say the stumble upon used to be in reality a “pre-planned romantic night”.

The billionaire “confirmed up at exactly the appointed time with the wine, as asked, with a view to ‘tuck’ Ganieva into mattress”, the attorneys wrote. They added that Ganieva later despatched “a message of thank you and love” that learn: “It used to be really nice to peer you remaining evening. I already really feel higher.”

In June 2015, on the other hand, Black’s attorneys say that Ganieva started “what can simplest be described as a brazen shakedown”, challenging a sum of $100m and “explicitly pointing out that she would hurt Mr Black’s non-public {and professional} existence” until he paid up.

To start with, Black’s attorneys say, Ganieva contended that “she have been ‘like a spouse’” and “in keeping with this erroneous reasoning . . . claimed entitlement to part his profits”.

But if Black “identified that ‘having an on-and-off affair’ for ‘5 years’ used to be now not ‘comparable to a wedding’”, his attorneys say that Ganieva switched to creating claims that she herself characterized as “paranoid”.

“You’ll want to have given me a role,” Ganieva allegedly stated. “You’ll want to have given me a visa . . . This time . . . I need to let you know and I need to do what’s proper for me. I completely deserve it.”

Ganieva’s attorneys didn’t straight away reply to a request for remark.

In keeping with Black’s attorneys, the pair met on the 4 Seasons eating place in New York in October that yr to finalise an settlement. Black promised to pay $100,000 a month for the following 15 years. Black’s submitting contends that Ganieva said making “positive allegations . . . underneath excessive pressure and which she now concedes aren’t true”, and promised by no means to sue Black over anything else that had took place previously or expose any data that might injury his profession.

The October assembly used to be additionally recorded. Ganieva took roughly 12 mins to study the one-page record, consistent with Black’s attorneys. They are saying that when it used to be signed, Ganieva pronounced herself “a girl of way”, and the pair shared a Grand Marnier soufflé.

Black denies ever threatening to smash Ganieva’s existence or put her in jail. “If a personal citizen even had the ability to do such issues,” his attorneys wrote, “it’s unclear why that particular person would drive tens of millions of greenbacks upon somebody as a substitute of simply doing the ones issues”.

The billionaire says he made his per month bills till March this yr, when Ganieva posted “defamatory tweets” alleging that Black had abused her.

Ganieva’s lawsuit said that the bills got here from an account referred to as “E Believe”, an entity that she stated she had by no means heard of.

“To be very transparent,” Black’s attorneys wrote of their submitting on Monday, “the ‘E’ in ‘E Believe’ stands for ‘Extortion’”.



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