NEW YORK (Reuters) - The octogenarian billionaire George Soros has been sued for $10 million by a former Brazilian soap star who said he reneged on promises to give her an expensive apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Adriana Ferreyr, 28, said Soros had twice during the five years they dated promised to buy her apartments, but never followed through, according to her complaint filed on Wednesday in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Ferreyr said she and Soros, who turns 81 on Friday and is among the world’s most admired investors, had been dating for more than three years when he promised on January 1, 2010, to buy her an apartment worth nearly $2 million two blocks from his home.
The pair broke up two months later and soon reconciled, but Soros told her as they lay in bed in August 2010 that he had given the apartment to a new girlfriend, the lawsuit said.
An argument ensued, resulting in Soros slapping Ferreyr on the face and trying to choke her and throwing a lamp that smashed on the floor, cutting Ferreyr’s foot and requiring stitches, the lawsuit said.
Nonetheless, the pair rekindled their romance and Soros told Ferreyr while they vacationed in St. Barts that he would give her another apartment, only to renege again, it said.
Ferreyr is seeking damages for fraud, infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery and other claims.
William Zabel, a lawyer for Soros, called the lawsuit frivolous and without merit and said he will seek dismissal.
“Mr. Soros did have an on-again, off-again and nonexclusive relationship with Ms. Ferreyr,” Zabel said in a statement. “The proposed complaint is riddled with false charges and is obviously an attempt to extract money from my client who is known to be a very wealthy man.”
Zabel also said police investigated the August 2010 incident and found that no assault occurred.
“George Soros did not slap, choke or throw a lamp at her,” he said.
Neither Ferreyr, now studying economics at Columbia University, nor her lawyer immediately responded to requests for comment.
Soros is worth $14.5 billion, Forbes magazine said in March. Last month, he decided to return roughly $1 billion from outside investors in his $26 billion Quantum hedge fund and instead manage money only for himself and family. That decision lets Soros avoid pending increased U.S. hedge fund regulation.
The case is Ferreyr v. Soros et al, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 109256/2011.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by Andre Grenon