Greice Santo, a Brazilan model and actress who has had a role in the TV show Jane the Virgin, has accused Edmonton Oilers owner and Silver Pictures financier Daryl Katz of offering her large sums of money and career advancement opportunities in exchange for sex.
Why is this story coming out now? It’s apparently tied to a defamation of character lawsuit filed in New York this week by Greice Santo’s husband, a professional gambler and FBI informant, who is alleging a crisis management firm is muddying his reputation in order to kill an article in the NYPost about Daryl Katz.
Katz’s attorneys have accused Cipriani and Santo of attempting to extort $3 million from Katz as the price for keeping quiet. Katz does not deny meeting with Santo, but has alleged that some elements of her story have been misconstrued. In addition to airing sordid details from the entertainment world, the lawsuit also spotlights the role of crisis consulting firms, which are often hired to clean up damaging stories for wealthy clients. Cipriani portrays himself as a longtime reliable source for the New York Post. In the suit, he accuses Bunting of damaging his relationship with a New York Post editor by accusing Cipriani of extortion, which Cipriani denies. The Post ultimately did not run a story on Katz.
“A media consultant can’t go around accusing people of crimes just to kill a story,” Cipriani’s attorney, Peter Gleason, told Variety, adding that publications have become increasingly gunshy in the wake of the Hulk Hogan lawsuit, which bankrupted Gawker. “Everybody is running scared,” he said.
Santo’s allegations date back to 2015, when she was in Hawaii for a photoshoot. She alleges that she met Katz through his cousin, Canadian executive Michael Gelmon, and that Katz invited her to his suite at the Four Seasons and promised to help advance her career. Then she says this happened:
“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 [in a statement].
According to Santo, Katz said, “I’m talking about millions… This would help your family and help you so you won’t struggle.”
Santo said she asked what she would have to do in exchange, and was told, “I’m looking for companionship and sex.”
Katz’s attorney alleges that Cipriani tried to extort the NHL owner for $3 million to keep quiet. Santo claims she was offered roles in three films in exchange for silence, but said no.
I highly suggest reading up on the full exclusive over on Variety.
The NHL isn’t exactly known for scandals from its owners, so it will be interesting to see how NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman handles one of his highest profile billionaire owners getting involved in a lawsuit involving cash for sex with a Hollywood actress.