The cold war Leon Black has been engaged in with his former firm Apollo Global Management appears to be heating up. Black is pumping up the volume on his accusations against Josh Harris his former partner and Apollo Global Management Inc. co-founder.
The 69 year old Wall Street power player was forced out early as the head of Apollo Global Management because of his connection to Jeffrey Epstein. Leon Black was supposed to stay on with Apollo Global Management until the end of 2021; however, he was forced to abruptly resign in March of that year after first announcing his retirement in January of 2021. But even his “retirement” was not entirely voluntary. Black was pushed into it after a plethora of revelations were made about his relationship with the late rapist and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
So, what happened now? Leon Black is being sued by one Güzel Ganieva who accused Black of coercing her into silence after committing acts of sexual violence against her as well as defamation. Now Black is saying that not only are the claims false but that Ganieva was a former lover of Harris’ and that she was used as part of a campaign that forced Black out as head of Apollo Global Management. Black has described his ouster as a coup that resulted from a malicious defamation campaign.
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Leon Black’s lawyer, Susan Estrich, has also alleged that Josh Harris, “waged a highly coordinated and orchestrated campaign to destroy Black’s professional and personal reputation.” Estrich further alleged that Harris’s advisers “whispered to investors, placed articles and ultimately supported and encouraged an effort by Ganieva to make knowingly false claims in the courts about her relationship with Mr. Black.”
The accusation was made as part of a motion on the part of Leon Black’s lawyers to try and subpoena various documents including phone records to prove the charge and thereby disprove the rape accusation. Black’s lawyers said, “It is not a stretch to infer that someone with very deep pockets is supporting her and/or this lawsuit. Mr. Black is entitled to probe and prove up that inference.”
A spokesman for Harris responded to the Leon Black claims saying, “These allegations and insinuations are desperate and absurd. Harris doesn’t know Ganieva, has never met or spoken with her or anyone representing her, has no financial or any other dealings with her or her representatives, and had no involvement of any kind in the filing of any claims by her.”
“These allegations and insinuations are desperate and absurd,” a spokesman for Harris said. “Harris doesn’t know Ganieva, has never met or spoken with her or anyone representing her, has no financial or any other dealings with her or her representatives, and had no involvement of any kind in the filing of any claims by her.”
Leon Black is also facing possible criminal charges in New York where rape allegations are being investigated.
The only thing certain of right now is that this story will continue to heat up over the coming months.