New NYPD documents shed light on former Gov. Spitzer's 2016 encounter with Russian woman in Plaza Hotel room

  • In US
  • 2022-01-23 19:00:00Z
  • By NY Daily News

NEW YORK - Newly obtained investigative documents reveal former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer name-dropped a powerful friend named "Bill" to cops investigating a bloody encounter with a Russian woman in Manhattan's Plaza Hotel in 2016.

"Do you know who I am?" Spitzer asked NYPD cops who had just arrived at the hotel room.

"Do I need to call Bill?" Spitzer added, apparently referring to then-Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton.

The episode is at the center of a bitter dispute between Russian beauty Svetlana Travis and Spitzer.

Travis claims the two had a sexual relationship beginning in 2012 and that Spitzer regularly deposited money into her accounts. She alleges the former governor choked her and threw her onto a bed after she refused sex and told him she was traveling back to Russia.

Spitzer says Travis has extorted him and was having a breakdown at the Plaza. The governor, whose affinity for high-end prostitutes forced his resignation in 2008, denies being in a relationship with Travis at the time of the incident or assaulting her.

The internal NYPD records were provided to the Daily News by a source close to Travis' ongoing civil lawsuit alleging she was assaulted by Spitzer. The source believes Spitzer was referring to Bratton when he made the comment about "Bill" - and not then-Mayor Bill de Blasio - since the disgraced governor was speaking to the NYPD.

Details about the incident are only emerging now after the Daily News and another news outlet persuaded a judge to unseal portions of the ongoing case.

The notes from two veteran Bronx homicide detectives assigned to the case, an investigative document and text messages shed new light on the immediate aftermath of the encounter in a luxury suite of the Plaza on Feb. 13, 2016.

Police showed up at the Plaza that night after receiving a call from Travis saying she was having a breakdown. They discovered her and Spitzer in suite #1541, which costs $1,000 per night.

"Thanks for coming. She is fine now. We don't need you anymore," Spitzer said to police when he answered the door, according to the notes.

Detectives wrote that officers responding to the scene saw blood on the wall and door frame.

"She is on her period. I just came to help," Spitzer said, according to the notes.

But the former governor soon admitted Travis had actually cut her own wrists - after police noticed blood in the sink, on a nightgown and the bedspread when they entered the room, according to the handwritten notes. Travis told police she broke a wine glass and "lightly" cut her wrists to scare Spitzer and stop his attack, according to a confidential NYPD document shared with The News.

Police noted that Spitzer - whose political career imploded in 2008 after he was linked to a prostitution scandal just one year into his first term - "got a little defensive" when they asked what had occurred.

Despite calling 911, Travis was "distraught and annoyed" with police, according to the documents.

Before EMS took the bloodied Travis to Mt. Sinai Hospital, Spitzer handed her four or five $100 bills, the detectives wrote.

Later that night, Spitzer, clad in black and wearing a dark hat pulled down to his eyes, showed up at the hospital and talked with a receptionist, according to police documents.

Detectives wrote that they examined hospital video that captured Spitzer identifying himself as "George."

Spitzer went by the alias "George Fox" when using prostitutes, according to court papers. The News obtained hospital surveillance video from the source close to the case showing a man in all black identified as Spitzer.

The next day, Travis texted Spitzer - who was listed in her phone contacts as "Eliot My Love" - saying she was filing a police report, according to messages shared with The News.

She then sent Spitzer a text in Russian.

"What does that mean?" Spitzer allegedly responded.

"Go f--- yourself piece of abusive s---," she responded.

Spitzer was never charged in the case. Travis was arrested at Kennedy Airport in October 2016 and charged with extorting the former governor for more than $50,000 to keep their relationship secret. She eventually pleaded guilty to ripping off Spitzer and another man and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

The documents show how the initial investigation into Spitzer quickly pivoted to focus on Travis and her past work as an escort.

"Get historical on Back Page account," wrote one of the detectives about a month after the initial incident, referring to the website often used to arrange encounters with escorts.

Spitzer's attorney, Adam Kaufmann, declined to comment on the documents, referring The News back to a letter he filed in December as part of an attempt to get the case dismissed.

"The filings have been replete with lies and fantastical claims," Kaufmann wrote.

Travis's attorney, Joe Murray, declined to comment.

"I'm not interested in speaking about that case anymore," said one of the detectives who investigated when reached by The News.


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