(Bloomberg) — Leon Black, the founder of Apollo Global Management, delivered another salvo in his legal battle against a former Russian model he had befriended, accusing him in a new trial for working with his lawyers to spread false information against him. “hate and humiliate him.”
In a lawsuit filed Monday in New York state court, Black said Guzel Ganieva falsely accused him of assault and battery in violation of a confidentiality agreement. He said his attorneys at Wigdor LLP “used his extensive public relations knowledge and contacts to ensure the malicious and damaging publication of information he and Black had signed as confidential.”
Black alleges that Ganieva was labeled a Russian spy by Ukrainian intelligence services, citing media reports from two online publications. Those reports “provide context and explanation for Ganieva’s actions,” including her “disparaging public statements and lawsuits that have caused serious harm to Black’s personal life and career at Apollo ,” according to the complaint.
None of Ganieva’s attorneys returned calls seeking comment about the lawsuit.
The public feud between Black and Ganieva began last year when the former student alleged in a Twitter post that he sexually assaulted her. Black has denied the allegations, saying it was “nonsense” that he told her that he ended more than seven years ago. He pleaded guilty to defamation.
Black then filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that Ganieva, Apollo co-founder Josh Harris and public relations expert Steven Rubenstein conspired to kill him personally and professional.
The case has been dismissed
That case was ruled by U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in June. The judge said Black’s claims were “grossly frivolous in their fundamentals.” Engelmayer also dismissed charges of defamation, breach of contract and unjust enrichment, though he said Black could retake those in state court. Black has appealed that decision.
Earlier this month, Ganieva’s lawyers asked the judge presiding over her trial against Black to disqualify a law firm representing the billionaire, Perry Guha LLP, after Joan joined Illuzzi-Orbon, a former prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office who investigated the allegations against Black. the breast Perry Guha, in a statement, said Illuzzi-Orbon was not involved in the Black trial.
Black’s new lawsuit filed Monday alleges breach of contract and unjust enrichment against Ganieva and interference with contract against Wigdor.
Black stepped down from Apollo shortly after Ganieva’s tweets, following months of controversy over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, the now-deceased sex offender who paid Black $158 million for financial advice.
In his latest lawsuit, Black says Ganieva violated a confidentiality agreement that prevents him from revealing their relationship and filing all claims against her. He was paid more than $9 million under the agreement, according to Black, and also agreed to forgive loans he made to him and support his immigration applications. to the UK and pay each $100,000 per month for 15 years.
Wigdor “encouraged, encouraged and aided Ganieva” to disclose information, giving Black “no choice but to resign to protect Apollo, and lose a large amount of money and other benefits he was entitled to as Chairman and CEO,” according to the lawsuit.
(Updates and commentary by Perry Guha LLP.)
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