Published On: Sun, Jul 17th, 2016

Eliot Spitzer Sues Woman Who Accused Him of Assault At The Plaza Hotel

Eliot Spitzer former governor of New York/ Getty

Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer filed a lawsuit on Friday against the Svetlana Zakharova. The woman also known as Lana Travis claimed Spitzer assaulted her at the Plaza Hotel back in February.

The lawsuit alleges that Zakharova had an argument with Spitzer and that former governor had choked her. According to Spitzer’s lawyer, Zakharova later allegedly threatening to “ruin his life” if he didn’t comply with her demands for money,  the NY Times reports.

The suit notes that Spitzer did agree to make “certain payments” to Zakharova to prevent her from going public with details that she thought would embarrass his family. Spitzer and his lawyers are seeking just $1 in damages, but are also looking for “other relief as may be appropriate.”

In February Zakharova called 911 saying that she was having a breakdown and had cut her wrist. Spitzer opened the door and told cops that everything was fine, but cops found broken glass and blood. They called EMS, who took Zakharova to the hospital, and once there, she reportedly said that Spitzer had attacked her.  No charges were filed. Zakharova eventually retracted her claim and returned to Russia.

It now appears that wasn’t the end of that. From the Times:

[A]fter the February episode, Ms. Zakharova was apparently emboldened to make more demands, according to the lawsuit. Mr. Spitzer’s lawyers wrote that she believed that “this claim gave her new leverage.”“Ms. Zakharova demanded that Mr. Spitzer provide her with money, stating that if he did not do so she would ‘ruin his life, ’” the lawsuit alleges, saying she wanted “hundreds of thousands of dollars, trips to Paris and other valuable property.” Ms. Zakharova also wanted to rekindle the relationship, the suit charges, and sent hostile emails and other threats.

Then, in June, Ms. Zakharova allegedly contacted one of Mr. Spitzer’s daughters via social media to “reveal false details of encounters” with him, an action that Adam Kaufmann, a lawyer for the former governor, described as “the final straw.”
Mr. Spitzer’s lawyers provided emails to The New York Times — which they said Ms. Zakharova had sent — that suggested a serious grievance with the former governor.

“Still sleeping?” began one of the emails. “That’s good, when you wake up your life will be destroyed — I promise you that.”


Spitzer resigned as governor  in 2008 after just a year in office, after he was linked to a high-end prostitution ring. He’s since turned to the family real estate company.

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