© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Leon Black, President and CEO of Apollo Global Management, LLC, Participates in Private Equity: Rebalancing Risk at the Milken Institute Global Conference 2014 in Beverly Hills, CA, April 29, 2014. REUTERS / Kevork Djansezian / File
Jahnavi Nidumolu and Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Leon Black has accused a former lieutenant in Apollo Global Management (NYSE 🙂 Inc. of using the billionaire’s ties to the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in an attempt to launch a “coup” and kick him out of an investment firm he co-founded.
The indictment against Josh Harris was part of a lawsuit late Tuesday night before New York State Court in Manhattan, where Black is defending himself against a lawsuit filed in June by Guzel Ganieva, with whom he had a 6-1 / 2-year relationship.
Ganieva, a former model, accused Black of rape and other abuses and that he slandered her, claiming that she tried to extort him. Black denied her claims and filed a defamation and racketeering lawsuit against her and her law firm.
In a submission Tuesday, Black sought Ganie’s phone records to substantiate his claim that her lawsuit was an “outgrowth” of the Apollo coup attempt and a defamation campaign by Harris to undermine him beginning in 2020 after allegations surfaced that Black paid Epstein financial management fees.
Harris was “annoyed” because Black was “first among equals as CEO and CEO,” according to the report, and saw Black’s ties to Epstein as an “opportunity to take over Apollo”.
The submission states that Harris hired CEO Steven Rubenstein to “help breed harmful stories” about Black. He “continued with a malicious campaign” to remove Black after he was transferred in January 2021 to the job of executive director in a private investment firm.
Black left the role of CEO and was replaced by Marc Rowan after a review by law firm Dechert revealed that Black had paid Epstein $ 158 million in taxes and asset planning. He resigned as President of Apollo in March.
Representatives of Harris and Rubenstein said that no man had any connections or connections with Ganiev. They also denied Black’s claims.
“Mr. Harris has nothing to do with the deeply worrying situation in which Mr. Black finds himself, and any statement or implication otherwise is disproportionate at best,” a Harris spokesman said.
Evan Farber, Rubenstein’s lawyer, said that Black’s claims “offer a fictional, constantly evolving conspiracy theory, full of false information, which is not based on reality.”
Apollo announced Harris’ plan to leave his daily role in May.
Epstein killed himself in August 2019 while awaiting trial for sexual trafficking.
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