Leon Black, a billionaire who previously led Apollo Global Management Inc’s private equity business Apollo Global Management Inc., strongly denied Monday the claims of a Russian model that he had subjected her to sexual violence and defamation. He called her allegations “fictional.”
Black also filed a defamation suit against Guzel Ganieva accusing her of running a “blatant scheme” to extort him at least $100m in return for keeping silent.
The lawsuit filed by Ganieva and Black in countersuit in New York State Court in Manhattan seek unspecified damages.
Jeanne Christensen, Ganieva’s lawyer, stated in an email statement that Black’s counterclaims were an obvious attempt to intimidate Ms. Ganieva. She will continue to litigate her claims aggressively and hold Black responsible for his heinous conduct.
After an independent review by Dechert, the law firm found that Black had paid Jeffrey Epstein $158million for tax and estate planning, Black, now 69, has resigned as Apollo’s chief executive officer and chairman.
According to the review, Black was not involved in Epstein’s criminal activities. Black stated that he was deeply sorry for his involvement with Epstein at the time.
Ganieva alleged that Black lied in her June 1 lawsuit. He denied claims Ganieva made on Twitter that Black had sexually harassed and abused her for years. Later, he told media that he had “foolishly” had a consensual relationship with her and that she extorted.
Ganieva claimed that Black also subjected Ganieva to a variety of unwelcome sexual conduct, including an alleged July 2014 assault in her Manhattan apartment on the Upper East Side.
Monday’s filings showed that Black’s lawyers claimed Ganieva’s claim was “rife” and contained accusations that were “scandalous and prejudicial, unrelated, and designed only to fuel tabloid headlines in a breathless fashion and ruin Mr. Black’s reputation.”