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Leon Black Sees Lawsuit Against Accusers Tossed

Leon Black

Leon Black Apollo Global Management (YouTube snapshot)

Former head of Apollo Global Management Leon Black’s appeal of his lawsuit against a woman who accused him of rape – Guzel Ganieva -was thrown out by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Thursday which ruled that the lower court’s judge had discretion to dismiss the racketeering and defamation lawsuit without considering an amended complaint that Black wanted to file. Black’s lawyers had argued that he deserved a second chance to make his case that his accuser’s lawyers from the firm Wigdor, Josh Harris who co-founded Apollo whom Black and his accuser herself could be sued on federal racketeering charges, alleging their actions constituted defamation.

“We believe Black’s claims against our law firm were baseless and filed in retaliation because we represent Guzel Ganieva in her first filed lawsuit against Black,” Jeanne Christensen, a partner at Wigdor, said in a statement Thursday.

Black’s attorney’s, of course, criticized the ruling. One of them, famed political operative Susan Estrich, said in a statement, “This procedural ruling doesn’t change the indisputable facts that Ms. Ganieva extorted Mr. Black, broke her agreement with him about their consensual affair after pocketing $9.5m under that agreement, and then defamed Mr. Black by making demonstrably false allegations. We are confident that a review of the evidence in Mr. Black’s New York State Court suit, including the signed agreement and Ms. Ganieva’s own words, will expose her despicable claims as lies.”

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Ganieva sued Black in June 2021, accusing him of sexual assault and defamation after he told news outlets in April of that year that she had extorted him after a consensual affair. Black made the comments in response to Ganieva saying online that Black was a “predator” and had raped her. The complaint claims Black “sexually harassed and abused” Genieva “for years” and referred to a specific alleged rape that Ganieva said took place in 2014.

Last November, the former head of Apollo Global Management filed yet another lawsuit against a Russian model who accused him of rape, saying she could be a Russian spy or something like that.

Leon Black was forced out of his firm over allegations that he was involved in the whole Jeffrey Epstein scandal. Black had paid more than $50 million in various fees to Jeffrey Epstein over the years, even after Epstein was first arrested, and these “fees” were deemed questionable by some. Leon Black, however, has continually denied that he made any sort of “hush” payments to Epstein or payments for anything illicit.

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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