Russian model Guzel Ganieva and another model who is being referred to as Jane Doe, are suing billionaire Leon Black and claiming that he raped and sexually harassed them back in 2014 and 2002 respectively. Black has denied these claims, and the Manhattan DA has since opened up an investigation into the billionaire.
The model first accused the billionaire of rape back in March 2021 and filed the lawsuit in June of this year. She claims that Black sexually harassed her and then made her sign an NDA. In her lawsuit, Ganieva called Black a “violent and sadistic,” sexual predator.
In September, that same model amended her suit and added on the testimony of Jane Doe, who said that Black raped her in Jeffrey Epstein’s apartment on the Upper East side back in 2002.
The two models recently met with prosecutors to discuss their claims against Black. The Manhattan DA’s investigation into the billionaire is still in the early phases.
Leon Black has denied all these allegations and his lawyers released a statement on behalf of the billionaire. They said, “We have no knowledge of any investigation of Mr. Black. As we have previously stated, Mr. Black has provided substantial documentary evidence in legal filings, including text messages and recordings, that show Ms. Ganieva’s claims to be completely false. In addition, we have been in contact with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and provided detailed evidence of Ms. Ganieva’s extortion of Mr. Black.”
The billionaire previously said that he had a six-year affair with Guzel Ganieva, and that the affair was consensual. According to the billionaire, he paid the model $100,000 a month for 15 years to keep quiet about their relationship.
He now claims that the models are trying to ruin his reputation and might be working for a third party that also wants to harm the billionaire.
Black and his lawyers filed a 52 page counterclaim to her lawsuit back in June and said that the model is trying to extort him. Black said that Ganieva has been trying to get more money out of him since 2015.
“In short, Mr. Black is guilty only of extremely poor judgment in entering into an affair with Ganieva in the first instance, in making an easy target of himself throughout their relationship by lavishing her with gifts and money, and in allowing himself to be extorted rather than immediately reporting Ganieva to law enforcement,” said court documents.
Leon Black says that Guzel Ganieva only started claiming that he raped her in March 2021 when he refused to give her anymore money. Around that time, the model took to Twitter and created a thread which exposed Leon Black as her alleged rapist.
Despite the sexual assault allegations, Leon Black has been trying to return to public life after he was connected to former financier Jeffrey Epstein. In January 2021, it was revealed that Black paid Epstein $158 million between 2012 and 2017 for what he called “tax advice” and “estate planning.”
This payment came before Epstein was exposed for soliciting prostitution from an underage girl. Black claimed that he never knew of Epstein’s other activities and never thought that the late financier would have such allegations thrown at him.
Black said, “I was completely unaware of Mr. Epstein’s abhorrent misconduct that came to light in late 2018,” Black said in January 2021, adding: “I did not engage in any wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct.”
But in late March 2021, Leon Black quickly stepped down as CEO of Apollo Global Management, an investment management firm, and said that he would be removing himself from the board of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
It is unclear what caused Black to leave his firm so quickly, but some think it was a combination of Epstein’s secrets and the sexual assault allegations that were attached to him.