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Billionaire Leon Black sues rape accuser and law firm, alleging defamation and racketeering -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO Leon Black can be seen here, in Beverly Hills (California), U.S.A May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File photo/File photo

Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters] – Leon Black, a multimillionaire investor has escalated his struggle against a former model that he accused of rape. On Thursday, he filed a lawsuit accusing her and her legal firm of defamation as well as racketeering conspiracy.

Lawyers for Apollo Global Management (NYSE 🙂 Inc’s former chief executive accuse Guzel Ganieva of participating in a “criminal venture,” which included falsely linking Black with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

According to a Manhattan federal court complaint, “They knew that to him, and within his world reputation matters,” they tried to kill him and force him to pay any price to stop them,” it said. The results will be used to fund their personal financial plans.

In June Ganieva sued Black before a New York State Court. She accused him of rape, other abuse and forced her to sign an 2015 nondisclosure Agreement about their 6 1/2-year-old relationship. He also claimed she attempted to extort her.

Ganieva lawyer Jeanne Christensen wrote in an email regarding Thursday’s lawsuit, “This is an apparent act of revenge.” “We are looking forward to responding against these ridiculous allegations.”

Black, 70, has forcefully denied the claims of Ganieva, with whom he had what he now calls a “regrettable” consensual relationship from 2008 to 2014.

Those claims included that Black tried to arrange for Ganieva, now in her late 30s, to have sex with Epstein in 2008.

Black claimed that he had paid Ganieva $100,000 per month over several years to not discuss their relationship with her after she attempted to exort him out of $100 million. These payments ended after Ganieva posted about Black on March 11.

Black sued Ganieva in the state case for defamation, but he dropped this claim. His lawyer stated that he was focusing on his defense.

Black recently bolstered his legal team, adding John Quinn, a name partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, and Susan Estrich, whose clients have included former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes.

Estrich said that she knew Black from the time they were students at Dartmouth College. Private consensual adult behavior is not within the scope of law. The law does not regulate defamation and exortion.

Black regrets publicly his actions with Epstein. Epstein killed himself while waiting for trial on charges of sex traficking.

Earlier this year, Black stepped down from Apollo after an outside independent review found he had paid Epstein $158 million for tax and estate planning, though was not involved in Epstein’s criminal activities.

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