The Chicago Journal

Leon Black faces lawsuit for sexual assault

Leon Black, Wall Street tycoon and billionaire, is being sued by a woman who accused him of sexual assault two decades ago.

According to the woman, Black raped her in the spring of 2002 at Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan.

The allegations

Plaintiff Cheri Pierson named Black and the estate of the late Jeffrey Epstein as defendants in the lawsuit filed in New York court on Monday.

According to Pierson, Epstein arranged the meeting for her to massage Black on the third floor of his mansion.

She accepted the meeting in exchange for money to take care of her little girl.

Instead, Black raped her in a “brutal attack” and left her “swollen, torn and bleeding.”

The complaint filed by Wigdor LLP, a law firm, states:

“By the time Ms. Pierson exited the massage suite and rode down the elevator with Black, she could barely walk out of the house onto the sidewalk, as she was in excruciating pain and still in shock.”

On Monday, Leon Black denied the allegations.

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The perpetrator

Susan Estrich of Estrich Goldin, Leon Black’s attorney, released a statement.

She responded, saying Pierson’s allegations were “categorically false and part of a scheme to extort money from Mr. Black by threatening to destroy his reputation.”

According to Forbes, Black’s net worth is $9 billion.

Leon Black stepped down as CEO of Apollo in January 2021.

His resignation followed an independent review of his connection to convicted sex offender Epstein.

Black said in a letter to investors a year earlier that he regretted his dealings with Epstein.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that the former Wall Street mogul may have paid more than $75 million to Epstein for consultation and other services.

The report came from two people aware of the transactions and noted that they would socialize and dine together.

Leon Black is also dealing with another case where Russian model Guzel Ganieva claimed he sexually assaulted her.

Additionally, Ganieva says Black falsely accused her of blackmail when she spoke out against him.

He also denies these allegations.

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The complaint

On Monday, Wigdor filed a lawsuit for Cheri Pierson under New York’s Adult Survivor Act.

Doug Wigdor campaigned for the new law, passed in May and recently went into effect.

The Adult Survivors Act gives adult survivors of sexual assault one year to file lawsuits against their abusers in New York and waives the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits.

According to Pierson, Epstein told her weeks before her alleged attack that he was setting up a meeting with an unnamed wealthy associate.

He promised his partner could help her with a skincare product she was trying to market.

According to the complaint, Pierson’s injuries from the alleged rape were so severe that she had difficulty urinating for weeks.

She didn’t have health insurance at the time.

Also, Black reportedly called her several times after the attack and told her he felt bad and wanted to talk.

Then he gave her $5,000 at a bar.

After they met, Leon called Black and asked to see her again.

However, Pierson declined to see him.

Wigdor’s partner Jean Christensen released a statement saying:

“Thanks to the passage of the Adult Survivors Act, survivors of sexual violence like our client, Ms. Pierson, can seek the justice they deserve no matter how many years ago their trauma was suffered.”


Lawsuit alleges billionaire investor Leon Black raped a woman inside Jeffrey Epstein’s home