A single mom has filed a suit claiming that she was brutally raped by billionaire financer Leon Black at convicted pedophile Jeffery Epstein's Manhattan mansion two decades ago. Cheri Pierson has claimed in the lawsuit filed on Monday in Manhattan Supreme Court that Black, 71, held her upside down and raped her after she gave him a massage back in 2002.
Pierson has claimed in court papers that British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, approached her when she was a poor single mother in New Jersey and asked her to give Epstein massages in exchange for money she "desperately needed." Pierson has also claimed that she fell prey to Epstein and Maxwell's ploy.
Another of Epstein's Victims
Pierson in the lawsuit has alleged that the dead pedophile set up their meeting at the famed investor and former chairman of Apollo Global Management's Upper East Side house, where Black allegedly raped her.
Pierson has claimed that when Epstein arranged for her to massage Black for $300 in the spring of 2002, she was a struggling single mother who had already offered Epstein five massages for $300 each.
She said that during their rendezvous on the third floor of Epstein's house, Blackâwho was eight inches taller and weighed more than twice as much as she didâphysically overpowered her without her consent and inflicted "excruciating pain."
"She recalls desperately yelling and screaming" and she "tried to kick" but "he was too strong," the suit states, describing the alleged 2002 incident.
Pierson's allegations were originally made in a different lawsuit accusing Black of sexual assault, under the alias "Jane Doe."
A Russian supermodel accused the billionaire of being a "violent, sadist" sexual predator when she filed the lawsuit last year.
Black, who has an estimated $10 billion in wealth, has refuted these allegations and maintained that he had a consensual relationship with the model. Since then, he has sued her for defamation in a different lawsuit.
According to a statement from Black's attorney Susan Estrich, who also claimed Pierson's claims are "categorically false," and that they are an attempt by Pierson to "extort money from Mr. Black by threatening to destroy his reputation."
According to DailyMail.com, Pierson in the lawsuit claims that a "woman of Ukrainian descent" allegedly told Pierson that she "needed to meet this rich man." Pierson at that time was struggling to make ends meet and working a low-paying receptionist job in Midtown Manhattan at the turn of the century.
According to the report, she initially disregarded the woman's calls but soon began getting 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."
She finally gave in and consented to meet with Epstein to talk about the debut of a skincare brand she wished to create. Epstein allegedly informed her while she was there, "I am a massage s***... I receive two to three massages a day; lots of women do it and do it well."
He allegedly informed Pierson that he would pay her $300 to give him a 20-minute massage in a bikini, which Pierson allegedly agreed to 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.'"
According to the lawsuit, Black then had sex with Pierson, which he allegedly did violently while holding her upside down with her legs over his shoulders. Pierson was much smaller, weighing 125 pounds, and was only 5 feet 8 inches tall, while Black was 6-foot-four and weighed 300 pounds.
According to the court documents, Black bit her during the alleged rape, causing "excruciating pain."
The lawsuit claims that the former MOMA chairman then told her, "Black, my name is Leo Black," and then got into a town car and drove off while they were both outside.
According to Pierson, she experienced excruciating vaginal swelling, ripping, and bleeding that required weeks to heal. According to the lawsuit, she was in discomfort and found it difficult to urinate as a result.
The lawsuit claims that despite this, Epstein approached Pierson and offered to fly her from Florida, where she had been attending a U2 concert, to New Jersey. Pierson, however, claims she is unsure of how Epstein came to know she was there at the time.
According to the lawsuit, Pierson asserts that Black had relationships with women who Epstein had dated previously when they were minors. But when the women got older, "Epstein simply passed some of these women on to Black, and likely other men," the filing states.
"Black, thereafter, became involved sexually with these women, at least several of whom had been with Epstein for years while underage."
Black is being sued by Pierson, who currently lives in Virginia, for sexual assault and other issues. She also has accused Epstein's estate of negligence in her lawsuit against it. She is asking for specific compensation.
Pierson was able to file the lawsuit under the recently passed Adult Survivors Act, which permits adult victims of sexual assault to do so within a year of the alleged crimes, regardless of whether the statute of limitations has run.