Leon Black Sued by Woman Who Alleges Defamation, Sexual Violence

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Leon Black defamed a woman by calling their relationship that included “appalling forced sexual misconduct” a “consensual affair” and by claiming she’d extorted money from him, according to a lawsuit.

Black made his statement in April about his association with Guzel Ganieva to Bloomberg News and it was printed by the New York Post, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in New York state court. A spokesperson for Black said that statement was provided to other media as well.

Leon Black Sued by Woman Who Alleges Defamation, Sexual Violence

Black used his Wall Street connections to arrange “sham interviews” for Ganieva, according to the lawsuit, which included 2014 correspondence regarding an interview with Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Pete Lyon and Alison Mass, who were at the time co-heads of the bank’s financial-sponsors group. Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Black, the co-founder and former chief executive officer of Apollo Global Management Inc., called the claims in Ganieva’s lawsuit “categorically untrue.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and alleges defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and gender-motivated violence.

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