Leon Black, the head of Apollo Global Management, has been named as an individual in the U.S. government’s $1.6 billion lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein, who allegedly lured teenagers to sex and drugged them.
According to the civil suit filed in Miami on Friday, Mr. Black received $50,000 a month from Mr. Epstein during the time that he held a consulting position for him from 2002 to 2004.
Mr. Black’s connection to Mr. Epstein raises questions about the role of two long-standing Mr. Black mentors. Mr. Epstein’s former associate Jeffrey Tucker, who has been convicted for sex crimes with minors, was present at several of Mr. Black’s meetings with Mr. Epstein, according to the civil suit. Tucker is currently on probation.
Mr. Black told Forbes last year that he was a collector of paintings by Christian Marclay, a painter who was profiled in a New Yorker profile, and a small-time movie investor.
Shortly after Mr. Black’s comments to Forbes, Mr. Marclay emailed him about acquiring his paintings, according to a contract obtained by The New York Times that was used as evidence by Mr. Black in a deposition. Mr. Black and Mr. Marclay struck up a relationship and he also played a role in financing the director’s first documentary, “The Clock.” In 2016, he sold a painting for $58 million.
Mr. Black is a major contributor to philanthropic institutions, most notably the University of Chicago, where he is a major supporter of the Buffett Institute for Global Studies. He has established a visiting professorship at the university. In June, Mr. Black announced he would leave the university’s board of trustees.
Mr. Black told the Times he had “never had anything whatsoever” to do with Mr. Epstein or Mr. Tucker. He said he received an annual payment for three years of service.
The civil suit does not describe precisely what Mr. Black did for Mr. Epstein, but does refer to him in connection with Mr. Epstein’s purchase of cigars. One of Mr. Black’s lawyers, David Boies, said in a statement that he had not reviewed the suit but had advised his client to speak about the case publicly “if he has information.” Mr. Boies represents Mr. Epstein.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.