A federal lawsuit has accused billionaire Leon Black of raping an autistic 16-year-old girl in 2002 at Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse, Washington Post reported. Mr. Black, who co-founded private equity firm Apollo Global Management before leaving in 2021, has an estimated net wealth of $10.1bn, according to Forbes.
The lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court in New York on Tuesday, alleges that Mr Epstein and his longtime girlfriend and associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, trafficked the girl to Mr Black in 2002.
The victim, now in her 30s, said she was only 16 when Mr. Black pinned her down inside the townhouse in 2002 and abused her with sex toys, causing her to bleed. According to the lawsuit, the victim was born with mosaic Down syndrome and has a “developmental age” of around 12. She also said she was routinely abused by both of them
The lawsuit states: “Even as Black grabbed her hand so hard that she thought he broke bones, Jeffrey Epstein knew Jane Doe would never disobey. Developmentally she is about 12, and when she was threatened to do as told because ‘bad girls’ get in ‘trouble,’ she did as she was told.”
Epstein refused to let the girl see a doctor, the lawsuit alleges, “and instead said that Ghislaine Maxwell would take care of it.”
The victim claims she continues to physically and emotionally suffer from the alleged attack.
Meanwhile, Mr. Black’s lawyers said the allegations were “totally made up,” suggesting they had been brought by a law firm with a vendetta.
“These vicious and defamatory lies, masquerading as allegations, have been intentionally manufactured by the Wigdor law firm as part of the firm’s vendetta against Mr. Black for vigorously and successfully defending himself over the past two years,” Susan Estrich, an attorney for Leon Black said, adding that her client never met the alleged victim
“These allegations — about an incident that supposedly took place 20 years ago — are totally made up, entirely uncorroborated and, as pleaded, squarely violate the statute of limitations”, she further said.
In the past, Mr Black has denied other sexual assault allegations against him. Two other lawsuits were dismissed.
Notably, Jeffrey Epstein – a sex offender and financier- died by suicide in his Manhattan jail cell in 2019 at 66. Epstein, a self-described “collector” of rich and powerful people, had links to a Who’s Who of prominent political and business figures. That circle, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton and billionaire Leslie Wexner, all distanced themselves from the financier after his July 2019 arrest.
U.S. prosecutors said Epstein used his wealth and power to sexually abuse dozens of young girls for years at his homes, paying them hundreds of dollars in cash for each encounter and hundreds more if they brought in more victims.
Meanwhile, Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking and is serving a 20-year sentence in a Florida federal prison.
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