A Brazillian model who appeared in several episodes of “Jane the Virgin” has levelled a shocking claim against Daryl Katz, owner of the Edmonton Oilers, claiming the Alberta billionaire offered her “millions” of dollars and a movie role — if she had sex with him.
As reported by Variety, Griece Santo (who had a recurring role on “Jane the Virgin”) claims that Santos twiced lured her to his hotel room, promising he could help her acting career. Although she says she spurned his advances, she says he sent her two wire transfers totalling $35,000.
“This is so common, but most girls and women — they are afraid of coming out,” Santo told Variety, revealing that wealthy older men giving attractive young actresses large sums of money is not unusual in Hollywood. “I feel like me coming out will give courage and inspire so many girls who go through the same thing I go through.”
According to Variety, Santo’s allegations were disclosed in a defamation lawsuit filed Monday in New York by Santo’s husband, R.J. Cipriani, who filed suit against a crisis consulting firm G.F. Bunting & Co., hired by Katz to kill a damaging story that would have run in the New York Post. Cipriani, described in Variety as “a professional gambler and FBI informant,” also works as a source to the Post, and claims that the firm “tarnished his reputation” in the process of squashing the story.
Katz’s attorneys, however, are firing back by accusing Cipriani and Santo of extortion, alleging the couple attempted to squeeze $3 million out of Katz in exchange for her silence about his sex-for-roles offer. While Katz doesn’t deny that he met Santo, he claims “that some elements of her story have been misconstrued.”
Cipriani’s lawsuit details how Santo and Katz met in Hawaii in November 2015, where she was doing a photo shoot, and Santos says she was invited to Katz’s hotel suite in the Four Seasons “with the promise that he could help her career,” reports Variety
“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 writes in the lawsuit.
According to Santo, Katz said, “I’m talking about millions… This would help your family and help you so you won’t struggle.”
Santos asked Katz what she would have to do in exchange for the money, and claims that Katz replied: “I’m looking for companionship and sex.” According to Santo, she refused the offer and left the hotel room.
Santo subsequently met Katz at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, again under the auspice that he was going to help her career. She wrote to him: “As long as you are willing to help me forge those relationships which could dramatically help my career that would be great. Thank you so much.” Katz responded: “With pleasure.”
However, Santo says that within a half hour, Katz once again propositioned her, offering her money in exchange for sex. According to Santo, she told him, “I am not a prostitute,” and left.
Santo also claims that Katz’s cousin, Michael Gelmon (who had been acting as the intermediary between Santo and Katz) “called and threatened her when word got back to him that she had been talking about her encounters with Katz.” Santo recorded the call, in which Gelmon can be heard theatening that Katz’s people would “make sure you don’t work in Hollywood ever again.”
Lawyers for Katz offered the following statement to Variety in response to the lawsuit: “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. Variety has done its readers — and itself — a disservice by allowing its pages to be used in this manner.”
Cipriani has responded to the statement: “The complaint speaks for itself. Conveniently Mr. Roach is attempting to divert from the real issue, that GF Bunting and his company have a history of enabling those who are complicit in aggressions towards women. If you look at GF Bunting’s history with Occidental College, Florida State and more recently with Baylor University where Bunting was brought on by Oracle’s CEO Mark Hurd, Bunting leaves his clients in a much worse position than he found them in.”