Skip to main content

You might think that Apollo Global Management founder Leon Black’s downfall had something to do with his doggedly sticking by his convicted sex offender buddy, Jeffrey Epstein. You might think, whether you believe her to be telling the truth or not, that his alleged sexual abuse of his former mistress might be at fault.

Black, as only a billionaire can, knows better. After all, as he and his ilk well know, no one ever enjoys his level of success is actually capable of wrongdoing. No: His disgrace has nothing to do with his penchant for picnicking on a private island dedicating to sex trafficking in underage girls, nor his long and fruitful (for Epstein, anyway) “limited” business relationship with the dead pedophile, nor even people and prosecutors getting unduly but predictably exercised about the same. No, the only reason he is no longer chairman and CEO of the private equity behemoth he built is because he told his longtime partner and co-founder Josh Harris that he couldn’t succeed him, and Harris decided to have his revenge.

Mr. Harris “waged a highly coordinated and orchestrated campaign to destroy Mr. Black’s professional and personal reputation,” said Mr. Black’s lawyer, Susan Estrich. Mr. Harris’s advisers “whispered to investors, placed articles and ultimately supported and encouraged an effort by Ms. Ganieva to make knowingly false claims in the courts about her relationship with Mr. Black,” she said.

All of which would be much more compelling had Black, like Prince Andrew, not waged his own campaign to destroy his reputation by remaining buddy-buddy with Epstein after his first conviction for sex crimes, a fact which Harris can’t help but point out, all too gleefully, we imagine.

Mr. Harris, his spokesman said, “was direct with Black that his connections to Epstein were damaging the company. The notion that Mr. Harris was motivated by anything other than the best interests of the company is false—Black’s relationship with Epstein was disqualifying, plain and simple.”

To all of which Apollo itself can only desperately plead, “nothing to do with us, no sir.”

“The firm has never been more aligned or better positioned to create value for all of our stakeholders,” an Apollo spokesman said. “The legal dispute playing out between two former employees is unfortunate but won’t impact our strategy, businesses, or mission.”

Sure doesn’t sound like his old firm will be putting the welcome mat out for old Leon any time soon.

Dispute Between Apollo Co-Founders Black, Harris Boils Over [WSJ]

For more of the latest in litigation, regulation, deals and financial services trends, sign up for Finance Docket, a partnership between Breaking Media publications Above the Law and Dealbreaker.

Related

Screen Shot 2019-07-08 at 12.11.30 PM

Leon Black Did Nothing Wrong, Will Stop Being Apollo CEO Anyway

He did do twice as much not wrong as previously reported, and is almost 70, so…

Screen Shot 2019-07-08 at 12.11.30 PM

Leon Black, Jeffrey Epstein Have More In Common Than An Interest In Tax Efficiency

Now, they share an experience of legal trouble around their exploits.

By Chris Potter (Flickr: 3D Judges Gavel) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Leon Black, Ex-Mistress Pretty Sure These Tawdry Lawsuits Are Going The Full 12 Rounds

In the first, there were no takers on even an inkling of a settlement.

Screen Shot 2019-07-08 at 12.11.30 PM

Leon Black Just One Of Many Illustrious People To Ignore Jeff Epstein’s Sex Criminal Past

It could have happened to any political leader or captain of industry, if you think about it.

a few good men

Leon Black Goes All Jack Nicholson On Mistress’ Epstein Allegations

We’re not quite at “You can’t handle the truth!” yet but we’re getting there.

Screen Shot 2019-07-08 at 12.11.30 PM

Leon Black Has Regrets

Like having to send this regretful letter to clients, assuring that he never lied to them about Jeffrey Epstein.