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Lawsuit accuses billionaire Leon Black of raping woman at Epstein’s house

In this July 2, 2020, file photo, Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, points to a photo of millionaire Jeffrey Epstein and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell
John Minchillo/Associated Press
In this July 2, 2020, file photo, Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, points to a photo of millionaire Jeffrey Epstein and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.

A new lawsuit accuses billionaire Leon Black of raping a woman in a “brutal attack” at the Manhattan home of the late Jeffrey Epstein 20 years ago, multiple outlets reported on Monday.

Black, the co-founder of the private equity firm Apollo, stepped down from his position as chairman and CEO of the firm after news broke of his financial relationship with Epstein, who died in prison in 2019 before he could go to trial on sex trafficking charges.

Epstein’s estate is also named in the new suit, filed by plaintiff Cheri Pierson, who says she met Epstein as a poor single mother and was set to earn $300 for massaging Black in spring of 2002, according to Reuters.

The “brutal attack,” however, left Pierson “swollen, torn, and bleeding” such that “she could barely walk out of the house onto the sidewalk, as she was in excruciating pain and still in shock,” according to excerpts of the lawsuit shared by CNN.

Black’s legal team denied the allegations to news outlets Monday.

The lawsuit is the latest in a number of sex assault and rape cases being brought forth under New York’s new Adult Survivors Act, which is, for a one-year window, waiving the usual deadlines for sex crime lawsuits, allowing survivors to file claims on old cases. 

Women who accused Epstein of sexual abuse filed lawsuits last week against Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co., arguing the financial institutions facilitated and benefited from Epstein’s sex trafficking operations. 

“Thanks to the passage of the Adult Survivor’s 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,” Pierson attorney Jeanne Christensen said in a statement shared by Law & Crime.

According to filings with the New York Supreme Court, Black is still facing an active case from Russian model Guzel Ganieva, who has also accused him of sexual abuse.

Tags Adult Survivors Act Jeffrey Epstein Jeffrey Epstein Lawsuit Leon Black New York Rape sexual abuse sexual assault
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