Spitzer sues woman who accused him of Plaza Hotel assault

Svetlana Travis allegedly tried to extort thousands from the ex-governor

Svetlana Travis and Eliot Spitzer
Svetlana Travis and Eliot Spitzer

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer is firing back against the woman who accused him of assaulting her in a Manhattan hotel, alleging that she is trying to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from him.

The governor-turned-developer filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Friday against Russian native Svetlana Travis aka Andreevna Zakharova, the New York Times reported. Travis told police in February that Spitzer choked her in a room at The Plaza Hotel, an accusation she later retracted before flying back to Russia.

According to the lawsuit, Spitzer had agreed to pay Travis an undisclosed amount of money to prevent her from publicly revealing “purported details of their interactions that she thought would embarrass Mr. Spitzer and his children.” After the February incident, however, she allegedly demanded more money and trips to Paris, and threatened to “ruin” Spitzer’s life if he didn’t comply.

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The lawsuit seeks only $1 in damages but also “other relief as may be appropriate.”

Travis was evicted from her Upper East Side apartment in February after neighbors complained that she was running an escort service out of her apartment.

Spitzer [TRData], who resigned in 2008 amid a prostitution scandal, now heads Spitzer Enterprises, which is building three rental towers on the Williamsburg waterfront at 416-420 Kent Avenue. [NYT]Kathryn Brenzel