Former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer is suing Svetlana Andreevna Zakharova, also known as Lana Travis, after she accused him of assaulting her at the Plaza Hotel back in February. Zakharova apologized to Spitzer and suggested she'd made the whole thing up after news of the incident hit the tabloids, according to the former governor's lawyers, but she later allegedly began demanding money and threatening to "reveal false details of encounters” with Spitzer, prompting this suit alleging extortion, the NY Times reports.
In February, police were reportedly called to a $1000/night suite at the Plaza after Zakharova called 911 saying that she was having a breakdown and had cut her wrist. Spitzer apparently answered the door and told responders that everything was fine, but cops returned and found broken glass and blood. They called EMS, who took Travis to the hospital, and once there, she reportedly told hospital staff that Spitzer had attacked her.
But after the fact, Spitzer's lawyers said at the time, Zakharova—who'd flown home to Russia—emailed him to say, "I just read the news, I'm so sorry," and offered to tell the police that her report was fake. She apparently implied she'd made up the story about the assault out of fear she'd be hospitalized for mental illness.
It now appears that wasn't the end of that. From the Times:
[A]fter the February episode, Ms. Zakharova was apparently emboldened to make more demands, according to the lawsuit. Mr. Spitzer’s lawyers wrote that she believed that “this claim gave her new leverage.”
“Ms. Zakharova demanded that Mr. Spitzer provide her with money, stating that if he did not do so she would ‘ruin his life,’” the lawsuit alleges, saying she wanted “hundreds of thousands of dollars, trips to Paris and other valuable property.” Ms. Zakharova also wanted to rekindle the relationship, the suit charges, and sent hostile emails and other threats.
Then, in June, Ms. Zakharova allegedly contacted one of Mr. Spitzer’s daughters via social media to “reveal false details of encounters” with him, an action that Adam Kaufmann, a lawyer for the former governor, described as “the final straw.”
Mr. Spitzer’s lawyers provided emails to The New York Times — which they said Ms. Zakharova had sent — that suggested a serious grievance with the former governor.
“Still sleeping?” began one of the emails. “That’s good, when you wake up your life will be destroyed — I promise you that.”
The suit notes that Spitzer did agree to make "certain payments" to Zakharova to prevent her from going public with details that she thought would embarrass his family. Spitzer and his lawyers are seeking just $1 in damages, but are also looking for "other relief as may be appropriate."
Spitzer resigned from his position as governor after just a year in office in 2008, after he was linked to a high-end prostitution ring. He's since turned his attentions toward furthering the desecration of the Williamsburg waterfront with a dystopian nightmare of a development based on a "molded iceberg." At least he's found a new hobby?