A woman who has accused former Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black of sexual harassment and assault filed a lawsuit against him Monday in New York County Supreme Court, alleging that he behaved violently and coerced her to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
Former model Guzel Ganieva’s attorneys, Jeanne Christensen and Lindsay Goldbrum of the plaintiffs litigation firm Wigdor, argued that their client spent years enduring “a cycle of intimidation, abuse and humiliation by Black that on numerous occasions included forced sexual conduct against her will.”
Black has denied the allegations.
“Many of these instances were perpetrated by Black in order for him to indulge in sadistic sexual acts that were physically painful to Ms. Ganieva and to which she never consented. In addition to causing intentional physical pain, Black engaged in these acts because he derived pleasure from humiliating and debasing Ms. Ganieva,” her attorneys wrote.
Ganieva made her allegations public in a Twitter thread in March, days before Black abruptly stepped down as chairman and CEO of the private equity firm he co-founded and led for decades.
Black said in January that he would step down as CEO later in the year but continue to serve as chairman after a review by Dechert found that he had paid $158 million to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein between 2012 and 2017.