This time last year, Leon Black, the then CEO and cofounder of private-equity giant Apollo Global Management, was one of the most powerful men on Wall Street and a pillar of New York society. The then 69-year-old billionaire was board chairman of the Museum of Modern Art, a trustee of Mount Sinai Hospital, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Today, in new court documents, a former model is accusing Black of violently raping her at Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse in 2002.
The woman, identified in the documents as “Jane Doe,” says Epstein arranged for her to give a $300 massage to Black when she was a financially struggling single mother living in New Jersey. But instead, she alleges, Black brutally assaulted her shortly after they entered the massage room on the third floor of Epstein’s mansion. A number of weeks later, she claims, Black paid her $5,000 cash to “help with her credit card debt.” The suit says Doe didn’t report the rape at the time because a friend warned her no one would believe her.
“This claim is complete fiction and has no basis in fact or law,” a Black spokesperson said in a statement. “It is telling that it is asserted anonymously and concerns events that allegedly occurred some 20 years ago. We expect that the courts will see this bogus claim for what it is.”
The harrowing new allegation is included in documents filed today in New York Supreme Court by a former Russian model named Guzel Ganieva. In June, Ganieva sued Black for defamation after Black publicly denied Ganieva’s claims that Black “sexually harassed and abused” her. Ganieva’s lawsuit included allegations that linked Black to Epstein’s sex trafficking ring for the first time. It claimed that Black flew Ganieva to Palm Beach to have sex with Epstein in October 2008, when Epstein was serving time in a Florida jail for soliciting sex from a minor. The suit further alleged that Black made frequent comments about Epstein’s sexual depravity, including that Epstein flew “very young girls” aboard his private plane and that Epstein made money because “he takes care of the little girls” and was “doing a great job with it.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attended the 2021 Met Gala on Monday night with billionaire Seagram’s heir Benjamin Bronfman, who is dating her dress designer, Aurora James.
Ocasio-Cortez claimed her presence at the Met Gala clad in an ultra-fancy “Tax the Rich” dress was a political protest against the wealthy, and that she “punctured the 4th wall of excess and spectacle,” but critics say the move was a chief example of hypocrisy.
Moreover, Ocasio-Cortez — along with her boyfriend Riley Roberts — was spotted walking the red carpet with Aurora James and Benjamin Bronfman, who has an estimated net worth of $100 million, and whose father, Edgar Bronfman Jr., has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, as the family founded the Seagram’s drinks company.
While some argued that Ocasio-Cortez’s “Tax the Rich” dress was an insult to the wealthy people who donate to the gala, others pointed out that those whom government defines as “rich” are often middle and working class Americans.
President Joe Biden recently broke his pledge not to increase taxes on working-class Americans, as the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill would raise taxes on Americans making over $50,000 or more per year in the calendar year 2031.
Once upon a time, Weihong “Whitney” Duan was the poster woman for the Chinese dream.
After growing up poor, she wheeled and dealed her way to a billion-dollar fortune, making her name as China’s most successful female entrepreneur.
Then, on Sept. 5, 2017, at age 50, she simply disappeared from the streets of Beijing.
As her ex-husband Desmond Shum recounts in his new book, “Red Roulette,” (Scribner), out now, “she was last seen the day before in her sprawling office at Genesis Beijing, a $2.5 billion development project that she and I had built. There, Whitney had masterminded real estate projects worth billions more. And now suddenly she was gone.”
Engineers and contractors are building a massive, multi-room clock inside a mountain in West Texas—a clock that will tell time for the next 10,000 years. And despite an informal website with a whiff of Blogspot template, this is a Jeff Bezos project.
There are a lot of surprises in the story of the Clock of the Long Now. It’s the brainchild of Danny Hillis, a computer scientist and entrepreneur who first imagined the 10,000-year clock in 1986. Now, he’s a visiting professor at MIT Media Lab with a reputation for building supercomputers, autonomous dinosaur robots, and Disney theme park rides. He’s exactly the kind of guy who decides he wants to build a huge eon clock in a mountain.
How does the clock work? Well, the longness of the time involved is the big engineering challenge. The clock is designed to tick just once a year and chime once per millennium. Experts are blasting rooms out of the interior of the mountain in order to install steampunky piles of gears and flywheels. According to Bezos, the Amazon founder and richest man on the planet, the clock will be 500 feet tall, “all mechanical, powered by day/night thermal cycles,” and “synchronized at solar noon.”
A couple of weeks ago, we reported on the latest court filing made by Russian model Guzel Ganieva in her lawsuit against Leon Black. In the filing, she accused him of paying her millions of dollars in money and gifts in exchange for keeping the affair quiet.
But an amended filing released Monday includes even more explosive claims about Black’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. Black has already been forced out of Apollo, the private equity giant he co-founded, months earlier than he had originally planned, despite an internal probe finding that his friendship with Epstein didn’t extend beyond his decision to pay him more than $150MM for tax advice. While many have speculated that Black’s explanation was a ruse (and a thin one at that), Ganieva makes several explosive new claims, hinting for the first time that Black knew exactly what Epstein was up to, while not directly accusing him.
In the amended filing, Ganieva alleges that Black “made multiple comments to Ganieva about Epstein’s sexual proclivities.” Black allegedly told Ganieva that Epstein flew “very young girls” aboard his private plane…and while the lawsuit doesn’t explicitly accuse Black of knowing that the girls Epstein trafficked were underage…it does claim that Black told Ganieva that Epstein made his money because he “takes care of the little girls” and was “doing a great job with it.”
She also claimed that she herself was trafficked to Epstein, saying that Black flew her to Florida in 2008 “without her consent, to satisfy the sex needs of Epstein, Black’s “best friend.”
Black’s legal team maintains that Ganieva’s account is a “work of fiction,” according to a report in Vanity Fair.
Black’s attorney, Dayna Perry, said in regard to the new claims that “Ms. Ganieva had six years to prepare her initial complaint in this case … She now claims to recall in August supposedly crucial events and connections that somehow had slipped her mind at the time of her June filing. But just like her June complaint, Ms. Ganieva’s story today is demonstrably and transparently false and betrays her willingness to say anything and fabricate a story in the hope something will stick.”
But Ganieva’s lawyers are reportedly subpoenaing flight records to see if they can prove she traveled with Black to Florida in October 2008. Evidence of this flight could be bad for Black, though we imagine his legal team will dismiss the records as irrelevant.
Classic feudalism was a system where a wealthy land-owning nobility (the 1%) controlled the peasant class of workers known as serfs (everyone else). The elites provided serfs with a small piece of land on which to live. Although they paid taxes, generally, serfs owned no property, had no economic power or upward mobility. During the Middle Ages, as much as 90% of Europe’s population fell into this category.
I admit it’s not a perfect comparison, but it’s something worth considering — especially given what’s happening not just with housing but with land ownership in general. In our system, owning real estate is the most common vehicle for wealth accumulation. So what happens when only the wealthiest Americans can afford to own property?
Before you answer, you should know that billionaires are buying up land like it’s going out of style. Do you know who owns the most farmland in the United States? Bill Gates and his soon-to-be ex-wife Melinda, that’s who. With 242,000 acres of cropland plus nearly 30,000 additional acres of land in their real estate portfolio, they’re playing real-life monopoly.
According to The Land Report, 100 families own 42 million acres across the country.
The Gates family barely breaks the top 50. Former TCI chief John Malone is at the top of the list with 2.2 million acres.
While billionaires snatch up the country’s ranches and farmland, Wall Street is buying up all the houses they can get their hands on.
Billionaire Google Co-founder Larry Page, who has been isolating from the rest of the world by buying remote Fijian islands, was granted access to enter New Zealand, while practically everyone else was barred from entering the country, it has emerged.
Page reportedly sought medical treatment for his twelve year old son earlier this year in the country’s capital Aukland.
While even New Zealand citizens and permanent residents of the country were barred from entering without facing a raft of restrictions, including spending two weeks at a government quarantine facility, Page was allowed to just walk right in.
A consortium backed by George Soros and Bill Gates has joined a buyout of Mologic, a COVID-19 testing company.
The Soros Economic Development Fund, an arm of Soros’ Open Society Foundations, confirmed in a July 19 statement that it has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Soros–Gates collaboration is part of the Global Access Health initiative, which will invest “at least” $41.1 million in the project, according to the statement.
“The group has financed the acquisition of Mologic Ltd, a world-leading innovator in the development of lateral flow and rapid diagnostic technologies including tests that can help combat tropical diseases such as dengue, bilharzia, and river blindness, as well as for COVID-19,” the statement reads, noting that the purchase is an attempt to “expand access to affordable state-of-the-art medical technology through decentralized research, development, and manufacturing” in developing countries.
Founded about two decades ago by the father-and-son team of Mark and Paul Davis, Mologic previously worked with Gates’s foundation, establishing the Advanced Rapid Diagnostics in 2016. Paul Davis is also known for creating the Clearblue pregnancy test in 1988, which, according to the company, is the first application of lateral flow technology.