Leon Black, Apollo Global Management’s co-founder and former CEO denied Monday that he forced a Russian model to enter into a long-term relationship. She described it as a “cycle o intimidation, abuse, and humiliation.” This latest scandal has already engulfed the billionaire, who is already struggling with his connections to Jeffrey Epstein, a disgraced financier.
According to Black’s filing, “Over the next five-and-a-half years, Mr. Black maintained his end of the agreement, paying Ganieva exorbitant amounts of money under a regular monthly program.” “Suddenly, in March 2021, after having accepted payments month-in-month for well over five decades totaling millions of dollars, Ganieva posted a series of tweets claiming that Mr. Black had sexually harassed and abused her ‘for years.’
Jeanne Christensen from Wigdor, an attorney representing Ganieva, said that Black’s counter-claims were “right out the defense playbook” and made a statement to Forbes. She stated that Black’s counter-claims were an apparent attempt to intimidate Ms. Ganieva. She will continue aggressively litigating her claims and holding Black responsible for his egregious conduct.
New York-based billionaire Black also expedited his plans for Apollo’s CEO post. Apollo’s board of Directors revealed that Black had paid Epstein $158million in fees and services, loaned Epstein over $30 million, and made a $10,000,000 donation to Epstein’s charity. This was before he and Epstein ended their relationship over a “fee dispute” in 2018. However, the large sums of money Black forwarded to Epstein for “professional services to our family partnership and related entities” raised questions about how Black might have supported Epstein’s criminal activity. Black continued to work alongside Epstein after his 2008 conviction for soliciting prostitution from an unmarried girl.
$9.2 trillion According to Forbes estimates that’s how much Black has been valued. He still claims ownership of approximately 23% of Apollo. However, he is a majority of the Forbes 400 List since 1999, ranking #55 this year.