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The Wall Street Journal: Ex-Apollo CEO Leon Black accused of rape, defamation in lawsuit


A woman on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Leon Black, the former chief executive of Apollo Global Management Inc.
 accusing him of defamation and alleging he raped and harassed her.

The woman, Guzel Ganieva, with whom Black has said he had a consensual affair, claimed in the lawsuit that Black had mischaracterized their relationship and falsely accused her in media reports of trying to extort him after she initially posted her allegations in a series of tweets on March 17.

A spokesman for Black said he denies the claims.

Black stepped down earlier this year as CEO of Apollo and handed the reins to fellow co-founder Marc Rowan after revelations of Black’s ties to the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. The credit and private-equity investment giant announced the leadership transition in January, saying Black would step down on or before his 70th birthday in July. On March 22, Apollo made the unexpected announcement that Rowan would formally assume the CEO role and that Black would also cede the chairman role to former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton.

In the lawsuit filed in a New York state court, Ganieva, a Russian immigrant who was in her early 20s and working as a model when she met Black at an International Women’s Day event in New York in 2008, alleges the billionaire “forced sadistic sexual acts on her without her consent,” lent her money as a way of exerting control over her and promised to help her get work beyond modeling that never materialized.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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