Billionaire financier Leon Black paid his Russian mistress £2m to make her eligible for a UK “Golden Visa”, in the hopes she would start a new life, far away from his home in New York.
The co-founder of private equity giant Apollo Global Management transferred millions to his former mistress Guzel Ganieva after she began to extort him by threatening to make their relationship public, court filings say.
Black later introduced Ganieva to top lawyers in London and New York and gave her £2m so that she would be eligible for a UK Tier 1 visa, according to the Financial Times.
The episode came after the Russian fashion model entered into what Black’s lawyers described as a “casual, episodic, and completely consensual” relationship with the billionaire CEO in 2008.
While still married to his Broadway theatre producer Debra Black, the investor paid for the unemployed model to live in Manhattan and loaned her £1m.
Black claims Genieva later began to extort him for money, starting in 2015, with threats to publicise false allegations of rape, in a bid to push him out of his role as Apollo’s CEO.
In response to the threats, Black offered the model an £18m settlement, and sought to help her obtain a visa to live in the UK.
The allegations come after it was revealed that Black had paid disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein $158m (£126m) for tax avoidance services that saved him at least $1.3bn.