Apollo Global Management Inc APO co-founder Leon Black was sued by a woman who said she was raped by the billionaire twenty years ago in Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion.
What Happened: Cheri Pierson said that when she was a single mother in need of funds when Epstein arranged for her to give Black a massage for $300, reported Reuters.
Pierson reportedly said Black, who was eight inches taller than her and weighed more than double her weight, overcame her physically and caused her "excruciating pain" on the third floor of Eptsien's home.
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages from Black for both sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Similarly, it also seeks compensation from Epstein's estate for negligence.
Susan Estrich, the lawyer for Black, labeled the lawsuit “categorically false." She said in a letter to Pierson's law firm Wigdor LLP that “Mr. Black never sexually assaulted anyone anywhere at any time.”
Estrich said Black may bring defamation claims or seek sanctions if Pierson sued, reported Reuters.
Why It Matters: Pierson has sued under New York's Adult Survivors Act, which gives assault victims a one-year timeframe to sue alleged abusers even if the statutes of limitations have expired, noted Reuters.
The reported real-time net worth of Black is $9 billion, according to Forbes. Black stepped down from Apollo last year after it was found that he paid $148 million to Epstein for his financial advice.
Last year, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates admitted that meeting Epstein was a "huge mistake."
Barclays CEO Jes Staley also resigned last year in the wake of questions surrounding his relationship with Epstein.
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