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Leon Black accused in lawsuit of raping lady in Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion By Reuters

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

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By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Leon Black, the billionaire co-founder of personal fairness agency Apollo International Administration (NYSE:) Inc, was sued on Monday by a girl who mentioned he raped her twenty years in the past within the late intercourse offender Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion.

Cheri Pierson mentioned she had been a cash-strapped single mom who had already given Epstein 5 massages for $300 every, when the financier organized within the spring of 2002 for her to therapeutic massage Black for $300.

She mentioned Black, who was eight inches taller and weighed greater than twice as a lot, with out her consent bodily overwhelmed her and brought on “excruciating ache” of their encounter on the third flooring of Epstein’s house.

Susan Estrich, a lawyer for Black, known as Pierson’s lawsuit “categorically false and a part of a scheme to extort cash from Mr. Black by threatening to destroy his status…. We intend to defeat these baseless claims.”

Pierson’s lawsuit in a New York state courtroom in Manhattan seeks unspecified damages from Black for sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional misery, and from Epstein’s property for negligence.

Her regulation agency Wigdor LLP additionally represents Guzel Ganieva, a former Russian mannequin who in June 2021 sued Black for defamation, saying he falsely claimed she tried to extort him after accusing him of rape.

In a Nov. 19 letter to the Wigdor agency, Estrich mentioned: “Mr. Black by no means sexually assaulted anybody wherever at any time.” She additionally mentioned Black could carry defamation claims or search sanctions if Pierson sued.

Legal professionals for Epstein’s property didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Black is price $9 billion based on Forbes journal.

Pierson sued beneath New York’s Grownup Survivors Act, a brand new regulation giving sexual assault victims a one-year window to sue their alleged abusers, even when the misconduct occurred way back and statutes of limitations have expired.

Epstein killed himself in August 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell whereas awaiting trial on intercourse trafficking fees.

His former affiliate Ghislaine Maxwell is interesting her conviction and 20-year jail sentence for enabling Epstein’s abuse of underage women.

Pierson mentioned Epstein had launched her to Black, describing him as somebody who might “assist” her, implying monetary assist.

She mentioned that after the alleged rape, Black started calling her, saying he “wished to speak” and felt “dangerous.”

Pierson mentioned they met at a bar within the St. Regis (NYSE:) Resort the place Black gave her $5,000, ostensibly to scale back her bank card debt.

She mentioned he known as later and mentioned “I need to see you,” and she or he refused.

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