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Lady’s lawsuit accuses Leon Black of defamation, violent conduct By Reuters 

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Leon Black is pictured right here in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. Might 1, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Leon Black, the billionaire who till not too long ago had led non-public fairness agency Apollo International Administration (NYSE:) Inc for greater than three a long time, was sued on Tuesday by a girl who accused him of defamation and subjecting her to sexual violence.

Guzel Ganieva mentioned Black lied by denying her March 17 accusations on Twitter that he had “sexually harassed and abused” her “for years,” when he advised information media in April he had “foolishly had a consensual affair” along with her and that she extorted him.

The criticism mentioned Black subjected Ganieva over a number of years to quite a few cases of undesirable sexual conduct. It referred twice to his alleged “sexual assaults and rapes” of her, and particularly described one alleged rape from 2014.

“Ms. Ganieva’s allegations of harassment and different inappropriate conduct are categorically unfaithful,” a spokesman for Black mentioned in an announcement. “Mr. Black emphatically denies every spurious allegation put forth on this lawsuit and appears ahead to disproving them in courtroom.”

The spokesman additionally mentioned Black made “substantial financial funds” to Ganieva primarily based on her threats to go public about their relationship. He didn’t specify a greenback quantity.

Ganieva mentioned in her criticism that she acquired unspecified “common funds” from Black for 5-1/2 years after she signed a nondisclosure settlement in October 2015.

She mentioned Black moved to silence her for his alleged misconduct by coercing her into signing the settlement, in change for forgiving $960,000 of loans he had made and which she couldn’t repay.

Black, 69, stepped down this yr as Apollo’s chief government and chairman, after an impartial evaluation performed by the Dechert legislation agency mentioned he had paid the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein $158 million for tax and property planning.

The Dechert report discovered Black was not concerned with Epstein’s prison actions. Black mentioned on the time he deeply regretted his involvement with Epstein.

Ganieva, a Russian native now in her late 30s, mentioned Black picked her out of a crowd at a 2008 Worldwide Girls’s Day occasion, and later accompanied her to prime eating places, Broadway exhibits, cultural occasions and personal events.

“He did not attempt to hold her a secret,” Ganieva’s lawyer Jeanne Christensen mentioned in a phone interview.

The lawsuit in a New York state courtroom in Manhattan seeks unspecified damages.

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