Single mother claims she was brutally raped by billionaire Leon Black

Single mother claims in lawsuit she was brutally raped by billionaire Leon Black in Jeffrey Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion after being recruited by Ghislaine Maxwell

  • Cheri Pierson has filed a lawsuit in the Manhattan Supreme Court claiming billionaire financier Leon Black raped her in 2002
  • She claims she was a struggling single mother living in New Jersey at the turn of the century, when Ghislaine Maxwell reached out to her
  • Maxwell allegedly insisted she meet with her then boyfriend, Jeffrey Epstein, who agreed to pay Pierson $300 for massages
  • After a while, he allegedly introduced her to Black, 71, and had the two meet in the third-floor massage parlor of his Upper East Side mansion
  • There, Black is said to have held Pierson ‘upside down like a rag doll,’ while he bit her vagina, leaving her bleeding
  • Black has denied the claims, with his lawyer saying they are ‘baseless’ and are part of an ongoing ‘extortion’ effort 

A mother has come forward to claim that she was brutally raped by billionaire financier Leon Black at the behest of sex pest Jeffrey Epstein.

Cheri Pierson claims in a lawsuit filed Monday in the Manhattan Supreme Court that she was invited to Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion back in 2002, where Black held her upside down and raped her after she gave him a massage.

She claims in court documents that she was a struggling single mother living in New Jersey at the time who had been accosted by British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell to give Epstein massages in return for money she ‘desperately needed.’

Eventually, the lawsuit says, Epstein introduced her to Black — the founder of Apollo Global Management. It goes on to describe in gruesome detail how he allegedly held her  ‘upside down like a rag doll’ while he bit her vagina, leaving her bleeding.

Pierson’s claims were previously mentioned under the name ‘Jane Doe’ in another suit accusing Black, 71, of sexual misconduct.

A Russian supermodel filed the suit last year calling the billionaire a ‘violent, sadistic’ sexual predator.

Black, who has a net worth of about $10billion, has denied these claims, saying he had been in a consensual relationship with the model. He has since filed a separate defamation suit against her.

His lawyer, Susan Estrich, now says the allegations posed in the most recent lawsuit are once again part of an elaborate ‘extortion’ scheme, saying the claims are ‘baseless.’

A second woman has come forward to accuse billionaire financier Leon Black, 71, of sexual misconduct at the behest of sex pest Jeffrey Epstein. The Apollo Global Management founder is pictured here in 2019

According to the lawsuit filed in the Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday, Cheri Pierson was first contacted by Ghislaine Maxwell about meeting her then-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein for financial help in 2000

According to the lawsuit, obtained by, Pierson was working in a low-wage job as a receptionist in Midtown Manhattan and was struggling to make ends meet at the turn of the century when a ‘woman of Ukrainian descent’ told her at the time she ‘needed to meet this rich man.’

At first, it says, she ignored the woman’s calls, but she soon started receiving calls from a ‘woman named Maxwell, with a British accent.’

‘The caller named “Maxwell” told Ms. Pierson that she really should meet Epstein,’ the lawsuit claims. ‘Maxwell implied that she knew Ms. Pierson needed money and suggested that as a powerful businessman Epstein was someone that could “help” Ms. Pierson.’

Eventually, she relented and agreed to meet with Epstein to discuss the launch of a skincare line she wanted to develop. 

But while she was there, Epstein allegedly told her: ‘I am a massage s***… I get two to three massages a day, lots of women do it and they do it very well.’

He is said to have told Pierson that he would pay her $300 to give him a massage in a bikini for 20 minutes, which Pierson did at least four times.

‘Disgustingly, Epstein masturbated and wanted her to perform oral sex on him as part of the massage, but each time she refused,’ the lawsuit states.

‘Epstein was not happy and said she needed “to do more.”‘

Still, the lawsuit alleges, Epstein continued to accost Pierson, telling her he could fly her back to New Jersey from Florida, where she had been attending a U2 concert — though Pierson says she does not know how he knew she was in Florida at the time.

And in another instance, after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the lawsuit says, Pierson went to his mansion for an event.

‘The event stands out in her mind because Epstein made a vulgar and disgusting remark about the young models stranded in NYC after September 11, 2001,’ the suit says.

 ‘Specifically, Epstein began talking about how bad it was for foreign models who had come for Fashion Week and now could not leave. He said that the modeling agencies had stranded these women with no help or money.

‘Disgustingly, Epstein remarked that these young girls, mostly teenagers, were in such dire financial straits that they would take $100 to “get f***** up the a**.’ 

The suit says Maxwell convinced Pierson to meet with Epstein, who coerced her to massage him for $300

Eventually in 2002, Epstein allegedly told the woman that another of his friends could ‘help’ her financially, and he invited her to his Upper East Side townhouse (pictured), where Pierson met Black

Eventually, in 2002, the lawsuit states, Epstein told her that another one of his friends could ‘help’ her financially, and he invited her to his Upper East Side townhouse.

He would not disclose the private equity mogul’s name, but said he was a married man.

When Pierson arrived, she first met the man she would later learn was Leon Black downstairs with Epstein before the three made their way up to his third-floor massage parlor, according to the suit.

She had figured she would massage Black and be paid $300, as was her deal with Epstein.

But during the session, Black, who allegedly kept his socks on, ‘insisted that he wanted to orally copulate Ms. Pierson and pressured her to get on the massage table,’ the lawsuit states.

‘As she stood there panicked, not knowing what to do, Black used his massive body (6’4″ and 300lbs) and his superior strength to overwhelm, take by surprise and force Ms. Pierson into a position where she was rendered physically helpless,’ it claims.

Black then ‘used the edge of the massage table as a fulcrum to leverage his physical power and to disable her,’ flipping her ‘upside down like a ragdoll.’

‘She recalls Black making vulgar and disgusting comments, but her immediate fear was smashing the top of her skull into the hard floor if Black wanted to,’ the suit continues, noting how blood rushed to her head and ‘she felt like she could not breathe, was dizzy and may have temporarily lost consciousness.’

Pierson remembers ‘desperately yelling and screaming, but is unsure what words came out in her upside-down state,’ the lawsuit claims.

She said she tried to break free from Black’s ‘vicious grip’ but couldn’t.

‘Unquestionably, he knew she did not consent,’ the suit states.

‘At 125lbs and 5’8″ and in his total physical control, Ms. Pierson had no ability to escape the physical power of Black’s massive body,’ it says.

‘When Black then placed his mouth on her vagina and began biting her, Ms. Pierson experienced excruciating pain,’ it notes.

‘With the top of her head precariously inches above the ground and her legs bound to his shoulders she could only see the lower wall closest to her. 

‘She had no idea what exactly he was doing with her to cause the tearing pain she felt or what acts he engaged in specifically during the violence,’ the suit says, but ‘Ms. Pierson was in agony and had never experienced anything like that before.’

It was only after this encounter, after Black got dressed and was waiting for his car to drive him home, the suit says, that Black formally introduced himself to Pierson.

‘I am Black,’ he is said to have told her. ‘Black, my name is Leo [sic] Black.’

Black has denied the claims, with his lawyer claiming it is part of an ‘extortion’ effort

Pierson, who did not have medical insurance at the time, was then left with a ‘vagina [that] was grossly swollen, torn and bleeding.’

She says she used ice and took baths to relieve the pain, and took non-prescription products to ‘help with the pain and to prevent infection from the cuts and tears.’

‘For several weeks, it was painful and difficult to urinate,’ the lawsuit states.

It says she eventually told a friend what had happened, but the friend ‘reacted poorly’ and told Pierson no one would believe her.

Pierson is being represented by Jeanne Christensen, who is also representing a Russian model who has previously accused Black of sexual misconduct

‘From then on, Ms. Pierson decided she would not tell her story,’ the suit says, though court filings reveal she had made a claim to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which never pursued charges.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Pierson, Epstein allegedly gave Black her phone number, and he began hounding her to see him again.

He finally convinced her to have dinner at the St. Regis hotel, where Black is said to have handed Pierson $5,000 in $100 bills to help pay her credit card debt.

She ultimately rebuffed him and never saw him willingly again, according to the suit.

Pierson is now asking a Manhattan judge for a jury trial and an unspecified amount in damages, plus full payment of her legal fees and a restraining order prohibiting Black from ‘engaging in any such further unlawful conduct.’ 

In a statement from Pierson’s lawyer, Jeanne Christensen said: ‘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.

‘We look forward to holding Black and Epstein’s estate accountable for their appalling unlawful conduct as alleged in the complaint by our client,’ Christensen said in her statement to the Daily Beast.

Black, a close friend of the notorious financier and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, was previously  accused of rape and sexual abuse by Guzel Ganieva

She is also representing Guzel Ganieva, the Russian model who has accused Black of rape. Ganieva had claimed Black, the married former CEO of private equity firm Apollo Global Management, whisked her away to Florida to ‘satisfy the sex needs’ of Epstein.

Black’s lawyer, Estrich, now says the latest lawsuit is just another attempt by the Wigdor LLP law firm to ‘extort’ the billionaire.

‘These latest allegations from the Wigdor firm are categorically false and part of a scheme to extort money from Mr. Black by threatening to destroy his reputation,’ she said in a statement to

‘This campaign began nearly 18 months ago when Wigdor client Guzel Ganieva filed three separate complaints asserting false and defamatory claims against Mr. Black.

‘Having been caught red-handed, Wigdor now resurrects false allegations concerning a second woman involving events that supposedly occurred more than two decades ago.

‘This serial abuse of the judicial process cannot stand. We intend to defeat these baseless claims, and to pursue all of our remedies to hold the Wigdor firm legally accountable for their abusive conduct and misuse of the courts.’

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