On Tuesday, June 1, 2021, Wigdor LLP filed a lawsuit on behalf of Guzel Ganieva against Defendant Leon Black, co-founder and former CEO of Apollo Global Management, asserting claims of defamation, defamation per se, intentional infliction of emotional distress and gender-motivated violence.
As detailed in the Complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court, Mr. Black intentionally defamed Ms. Ganieva when he issued a false statement to Bloomberg and other media in which, inter alia, he characterized his abusive and violent sexual relationship with Ms. Ganieva as a “consensual affair” and claimed to have been “extorted by Ms. Ganieva for many years.”
As alleged, Mr. Black’s public statement could not be further from the truth. The Complaint outlines how Mr. Black wielded his money, power and influence to coerce Ms. Ganieva into a violent and abusive sexual relationship for years. As alleged, when Ms. Ganieva tried to free herself from the sadistic cycle, he intimidated her into silence by, inter alia, threatening her with criminal charges and pressuring her to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Statement from Jeanne M. Christensen, Partner at Wigdor LLP:
“This case is the epitome of why #MeToo exists. In textbook fashion, men with wealth, power and an army of elite lawyers continue to escape accountability for their heinous acts by twisting the legal system to penalize their victims for speaking up. Sadly, until prosecutors consistently go after sexual predators that wrongly accuse sexual assault victims of extortion, it is clear that #MeToo has many miles to go.”