Greice Santo, who had a recurring role on TV show Jane the Virgin, accused Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz of offering her “millions” of dollars and a movie role in exchange for sex, according to allegations contained in a lawsuit.
A legal action filed last week claims the Brazilian model and actor alleged Katz offered her money for sex during a photo shoot for Viva Glam magazine in Hawaii in November 2015.
“He would pay me 20 thousand per day and would see me 5-6 times a month,” said Santo in a handwritten complaint to the Hawaii police, according to the lawsuit.
She also said she was invited to Katz’s hotel suite at the Four Seasons Resort, with a promise that he would help her career.
“Katz said he could put me in a big role that would change my life and then switched the conversation and said he rather give me money,” Santo wrote. She reportedly asked what she would have to do in exchange, and was told, “I’m looking for companionship and sex.”
According to the lawsuit, she claims she politely turned down the offer, but she alleges Katz and his cousin Michael Gelmon continued to try to change her mind, despite the fact that she was married.
Santo claims to have received a total of $35,000 in wire transfers from Katz and Gelmon, according to the lawsuit. No charges were ever laid against Katz based on Santo’s accusations.
Santo’s allegations were disclosed in a defamation lawsuit filed in New York by her husband, R.J. Cipriani. He filed the suit against crisis consulting firm G.F. Bunting & Co., which was reportedly hired by Katz to kill a damaging story that would have run in the New York Post. (Neither Katz nor Gelmon are named as defendants in the lawsuit.)
Cipriani is suing Bunting for allegedly causing irreparable harm to his reputation after the story was killed to allegedly benefit his client, Katz. Cipriani is using Santo’s police report as an exhibit in his suit.
The lawsuit accuses Bunting of falsely telling the paper’s business editor, Richard Wilner, that Cipriani was attempting to extort money from Katz, Gelmon or both men and destroying any chance of the story running about the wire transfers “and its more nefarious related backstory.”
According to Variety, Katz’s lawyers are accusing Cipriani and Santo of extortion, alleging the couple attempted to take $3 million from Katz in exchange for her silence about his offer. Katz doesn’t deny meeting with Santo, but he has alleged that some elements of her story have been misconstrued, according to the Variety report.
Cipriani is asking for a retraction from Bunting about the extortion allegation and a trial by jury, which could award financial damages. A statement of defence has not been filed and none of the allegations have been proven in court.
A spokesperson with the Oilers Entertainment Group forwarded a statement to Global News from Katz’s lawyer Dennis A. Roach, saying:
“Robert J. Cipriani is a convicted felon who has been menacing Mr. Katz and his family for more than a year. The allegations in the complaint filed against Mr. Bunting and his company, and the assertions made in that document about Mr. Katz, are false, malicious and entirely without merit.
“Moreover, it is plain as day that this so-called complaint was filed solely as bait for the media as part of an ongoing effort by Cipriani to harass, embarrass and possibly extort Mr. Katz, exactly as Cipriani has done with other prominent individuals.”
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Cipriani’s record [has] a felony conviction for insurance fraud. He is also referenced in a recent RICO indictment as the individual who “transport[ed] $1.5 million in drug trafficking proceeds.”
A source familiar with the case says that Katz “vigorously contests the premise and the contents of both Mr. Cipriani’s lawsuit and the underlying defamatory allegations.”
(It is not known if Cipriani has been charged in relation to the allegation made in the RICO indictment, and he has not publicly confirmed or denied the allegations.)
Cipriani and Santo have been publicly accused of running a very similar media and harassment complaint against New York billionaire Stewart Rahr. Cipriani said Rahr acted inappropriately toward his wife after they all flew together from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on Nov. 7, 2012.
He claimed he had to return to LA unexpectedly and Rahr promised to look after his wife, but Santo declined to join him and a group of others for dinner, which allegedly angered Rahr. Cipriani called the police, who came and escorted Santo out of the hotel.
Las Vegas police confirmed they were called to the hotel for a “minor altercation,” but no report was taken and no one was arrested.
The New York Post reports that Cipriani denies the claim they tried to “shakedown” Rahr. Rahr also denied he acted inappropriately toward Santo in the first place.