A former financier and affiliate of Jeffrey Epstein was sued Monday on allegations that he raped a lady in Epstein’s New York Metropolis mansion in spring 2002, in line with courtroom filings.
Attorneys for Cheri Pierson, who filed the swimsuit Monday in New York state courtroom in Manhattan, mentioned the “brutal assault” by Leon Black befell in a collection of the luxurious townhouse that contained a therapeutic massage desk and was related to a rest room, in line with courtroom filings.
Black stepped down as head of the funding agency Apollo World Administration, which he co-founded, after an impartial evaluate of his ties to Epstein final yr. The evaluate, carried out by a New York legislation agency, declared that Black wasn’t concerned in Epstein’s prison actions.
“Black had the chance and the means to rape Ms. Pierson that day as a result of their assembly was pre-arranged by his shut good friend and confidant, Epstein,” the lawsuit alleges.
Black’s legal professional, Susan Estrich of Estrich Goldin, advised NBC Information that “we intend to defeat these baseless claims and to pursue all of our cures to carry the [plaintiff’s firm] legally accountable for his or her abusive conduct and misuse of the courts.”
In line with the swimsuit, Epstein organized for Pierson to fulfill the “highly effective businessman” and provides Black a message for $300 at Epstein’s townhouse after she completed work. On the time, Epstein didn’t disclose Black’s title to Pierson, and he or she didn’t ask, in line with the swimsuit. The swimsuit says that Pierson was a single mom residing in New Jersey and that she was launched to Epstein by Ghislaine Maxwell on the time.
Epstein mentioned Black “helps individuals” and “implied that he might be able to financially ‘assist’ Ms. Pierson” with a skincare product she was making an attempt to promote, in line with courtroom paperwork.
Black is accused of utilizing the sting of the therapeutic massage desk “as a fulcrum to leverage his bodily energy and to disable Ms. Pierson,” and “she recollects Black making vulgar and disgusting feedback however her quick concern was smashing the highest of her cranium into the laborious ground if Black needed to,” in line with courtroom paperwork.
Pierson alleges that “she recollects desperately yelling and screaming — however is uncertain what phrases got here out in her upside-down state.” Courtroom paperwork add: “She tried to kick. She struggled to free her legs from his vicious grip, however he was too sturdy.”
The filings say that after Pierson was raped, they left Epstein’s condo and that exterior “Black turned to Pierson and mentioned ‘I’m Black.’”
“Ms. Pierson checked out Black with a confused look, as a result of she didn’t know his title and thought he oddly was referring to pores and skin coloration. Black then mentioned ‘Black, my title is Leo Black,’” in line with the filings.
On the time, she didn’t have medical insurance coverage and used over-the-counter treatment for ache and to forestall an infection, and “for a number of weeks, it was painful and troublesome to urinate,” in line with courtroom paperwork.
The lawsuit says a good friend persuaded Pierson to not inform anybody as a result of “nobody would consider her.”
Pierson’s legal professional, Jeanne Christensen, mentioned that “because of the passage of the Grownup Survivor’s Act, survivors of sexual violence like Ms. Pierson are in a position to search the justice they deserve regardless of what number of years in the past their trauma was suffered.”
“We stay up for holding Black and Epstein’s property accountable for his or her appalling illegal conduct as alleged within the criticism by our consumer,” she mentioned in an announcement.
Pierson’s attorneys didn’t instantly reply to questions on whether or not she spoke with medical or legislation enforcement officers concerning the alleged rape.
One other girl, Guzel Ganieva, sued Black final yr, accusing him of rape and defamation, in line with courtroom filings. The lawsuit is ongoing in New York County Supreme Courtroom. Black mentioned Ganieva’s claims are a part of an “extortion scheme” or “extortion marketing campaign,” in line with courtroom filings. Christensen can also be Ganieva’s legal professional.
The Epstein property didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.