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Leon Black Loses Bid to Sanction Rape Accuser’s Lawyers

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Billionaire Leon Black must face a woman’s sexual assault lawsuit and cannot seek sanctions against her attorneys, a New York judge ruled this week. In November, Cheri Pierson filed a complaint accusing the private equity mogul of raping her at sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s New York mansion in 2002. Since then, Black, 72, filed a motion to partly dismiss Cheri Pierson’s case—and requested penalties against her lawyers at Wigdor LLP. But on Monday, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Suzanne Adams rejected Black’s argument that Wigdor had filed a frivolous suit to smear his reputation. “In light of the fact that there has been no discovery in this action to date, there is no basis in the record for the court to conclude that any or all allegations or claims by either side are demonstrably false as a matter of law,” Adams noted in her order. The judge also denied Black’s request to toss Pierson’s intentional infliction of emotional distress claim against him, as well as the Epstein estate’s motion to dismiss a negligence claim. Black and Epstein estate co-executors Richard Kahn and Darren Indyke must file answers to Pierson’s complaint within 35 days.

Read more at The Daily Beast.