Former N.Y. Gov. Eliot Spitzer wants newly unsealed suit over alleged Plaza Hotel assault tossed

Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer attends the White House Correspondents Dinner at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C., on April 28, 2012. Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS

NEW YORK — Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer wants a judge to throw out a Russian woman’s lawsuit accusing him of assaulting her at Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel in 2016, according to newly unsealed documents.

The court file in the 2020 lawsuit filed by the ex-governor’s alleged former lover Svetlana Travis, 31, was only recently unsealed after the New York Daily News and another outlet petitioned a judge to reverse an unusual order that kept the entire case under wraps.

While sealed parts of the case were dismissed in October, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Paul Goetz allowed a portion of the suit regarding a Feb. 13, 2016, incident at the Plaza to proceed. Travis says Spitzer choked her in a hotel suite.

The newly unsealed filings reveal Spitzer is fighting to have that aspect of the case also tossed.

“The Court has spent enough time on this matter,” Spitzer’s longtime lawyer Adam Kaufmann wrote in a letter to the judge, arguing that Travis’ goal in the case was to “extract revenge” on Spitzer and his family.

“Many of the allegations leveled by Plaintiff were previously disclaimed by her, and all have been investigated and rejected by law enforcement. Yet this case persists.”

Travis’ lawyer responded by blasting the former governor in a new filing Tuesday.

“To be clear, Eliot Spitzer is not now, nor has he ever been the victim of anything but the consequences of his own criminal acts,” wrote lawyer Joe Murray in court papers. “Those acts include his disgusting efforts to deceive, coerce, and forcibly compel a beautiful young lady, against her will, into doing whatever he wanted.”

Spitzer has denied ever assaulting Travis. He was never arrested in the case, and Travis was arrested eight months later for extorting the former governor over a two-year period.

She pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

The former governor’s political career imploded in 2008 after he was linked to a prostitution scandal just a year into his first term.

But Murray claims Spitzer’s actions went beyond the alleged assault and that he coerced Travis into deleting audio recordings that”contained evidence of Spitzer’s criminal conduct.”

Murray also says the former governor made death threats.

“For us lesser privileged people, conspiring to destroy evidence of a crime is itself a very serious crime. That he did so, in part, by telephonic death threats from New York to Russia are both State and federal crimes,” he wrote.

Neither Murray nor Kaufmann responded to requests for comment Wednesday.

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