A woman is suing billionaire investor Leon Black for allegedly committing a sexual assault on her at Jeffrey Epstein’s townhouse in Manhattan when she was 16 years old. The lawsuit describes in graphic detail the sexual assault that caused the victim to hemorrhage. The woman designated as Jane Doe, according to her attorneys, has autism and a rare form of Down syndrome, rendering her developmentally about 12 years old.
Estrich also claims that the lawsuit was fabricated by the law firm Wigdor, which previously filed a sexual assault complaint against Black that was ultimately dismissed. A spokesman for Black, Whit Clay, reiterated Estrich’s denial, stating that the law firm has an agenda and that the dismissal of the previous suit has undermined its credibility.
In response to the vendetta claim, Jeanne M. Christensen, a partner at Wigdor, stated that Black’s conspiracy theories and finger-pointing are an obvious attempt to shift the focus away from his heinous acts. Black is the co-founder and former CEO of Apollo Global Management. In 2021, he departed the private equity firm shortly after a New York Times report alleged that he frequently dined with Epstein and compensated him for consulting and other services. Internal Apollo investigation into his $158 million payment to Epstein revealed no evidence of malfeasance.
This is the third time that Black has been publicly accused of rape. He has denied every accusation. In November, Cheri Pierson filed a second complaint against Black, alleging him of a sexual assault that left her swollen, torn, and bleeding. In 2019, Epstein committed suicide while awaiting trial on sex trafficking allegations. In the years since, investigators have scrutinized a number of Wall Street financiers and other prominent figures for their social or professional connections to Epstein.
Pivotal Moment in Epstein Investigation: Ghislaine Maxwell Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison
In a pivotal moment in the ongoing investigation into Epstein’s crimes, his longstanding confidante Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for her role in a scheme to groom and sexually abuse underage girls, according to prosecutors.The most recent lawsuit was filed in New York federal court on Tuesday, the same day the Senate Finance Committee announced it would investigate whether Black’s $158 million payment to Epstein was part of a scheme to avoid paying over $1 billion in federal gift and estate taxes.
In a letter shared with CNN, Black’s legal team informed Sen. Ron Wyden, who is heading the investigation, that Black declines to share additional information with the committee at this time. Whit Clay, a representative for Black, stated in a statement to CNN that all transactions were legal and that Black has paid all taxes owed to the government in full.
Black previously stated that he deeply regrets his professional relationship with Epstein, which he described as including estate planning, tax, and philanthropic endeavors. In 2008, Epstein pled guilty to two state offenses of prostitution and served 13 months in prison. In 2019, he was detained again on charges of minor sex trafficking.
In the lawsuit filed by Jane Doe, her attorneys claim she was sent to New York City in 2002 to meet Black, whom she recalls being introduced to as Epstein’s special friend. According to her attorneys, Epstein introduced her to Black and instructed her to give him the same type of massage she was required to give Jeffrey Epstein when he ordered it. The lawsuit states that this indicated the massage would involve sexual activity and that the plaintiff was expected to disrobe.
According to the lawsuit, Black, who is approximately 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, grabbed her hand so violently that she thought he broke bones. The lawsuit details the woman’s account of being restrained and assaulted. According to the report, Black called her “demeaning, shameful, and disgusting names” while forcibly touching her and causing her unimaginable pain. For the plaintiff, who is now in her 30s, the attorneys seek unspecified damages to be determined at trial.