Billionaire Claims “Broad Release” Clears Him Of Violent Assault Allegations 

( Soon after Russian model Guzel Ganieva called him a “predator” on Twitter in 2021, billionaire Leon Black resigned as CEO of Apollo Global Management months ahead of his planned departure. After those tweets, Ganieva filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York County. 

At a court hearing on Tuesday, Black’s attorneys said he is protected from one of two rape claims because of a written agreement supported by years of payments. Black resigned from his private equity company years ago amid criticism of his links to Jeffrey Epstein. 

Black claims that Ganieva collected payments of more than six figures per month from him for more than five years before the tweets in question. The circumstances behind such transfers are a point of contention between the parties. 

According to the complaint, Ganieva first met Black in 2008, when she was a young, single mother and had just moved to the United States from Russia. According to her, Black initiated “sadomasochistic” actions on her without her permission, despite her screaming “no.”  

Black is now married and claims that their six-year relationship until 2014 was entirely consensual. 

Ganieva said in 2011 that she had turned to Black for financial support throughout her undergraduate studies. According to the complaint she filed against Black, he coerced her into signing for a $480,000 “loan” with a five percent interest rate that she defaulted on. 

Two years later, in 2013, Ganieva alleges Black made her sign a similar agreement. 

Black’s attorney Michael Carlinsky of the firm Quinn Emanuel began his oral argument by referencing a separate agreement: a one-page contract headed “Release and Non-Disclosure,” which Carlinsky characterized as a “wide release”—and a profitable one. 

Approximately $9.5 million was paid to Ganieva when she signed the release in October 2015 during a lunch meeting at the Four Seasons restaurant, according to Carlinsky.  

This included $2 million at signing, the roughly $1 million loan forgiveness, and monthly payments of $100,000 for more than five years. 

Black’s attorney said that Ganieva had a degree from Columbia, had asked the financier for assistance going to Harvard, and had worked as a journalist for U.S. News & World Report. Ganieva has completed her legal education. 

Attorney Jeanne M. Christensen claims that her client Ganieva was coerced into signing the agreements.  

Christensen asserts that her client was threatened with dire consequences if the hush money was turned down.