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Police probe claim that Spitzer choked woman in hotel room

Police probe claim that Spitzer choked woman in hotel room

Eliot Spitzer, who resigned as governor of New York in 2008 amid reports he was a client of a high-p
Police probe claim that Spitzer choked woman in hotel room
With his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, at his side, Eliot Spitzer announces his resignation as governor of New York on March 12, 2008.
Photographer: NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE

NEW YORK — Eliot Spitzer, who resigned as governor of New York in 2008 amid reports he was a client of a high-priced prostitution ring, is at the center of a new criminal investigation after a 26-year-old woman said he choked her when they were alone in a room at the Plaza Hotel, authorities said.

But on Monday, Spitzer’s lawyer said the woman had apologized by email for making up the allegation.

“There is no case here,” said the lawyer, Adam S. Kaufmann, who provided a copy of the email to The New York Times and added that he also had given the Manhattan district attorney’s office a copy. “There was no assault.”

The investigation is being conducted by detectives from the New York Police Department, along with the district attorney’s office, which declined to comment about the email. Police have said the investigation of Spitzer, 56, is continuing.

On Saturday night, the woman, whose name was not released by authorities, called 911, saying she had cut her wrists, according to a law enforcement official who requested anonymity. When detectives arrived at the Plaza, Spitzer, a combative one-time prosecutor who delighted in calling himself a “steamroller,” was in her room, trying to calm her, Kaufmann said.

The police took her to Mount Sinai West, formerly St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Another law enforcement official said she told hospital employees that Spitzer had choked her. The Police Department released an official statement confirming the investigation.

Kaufmann gave a different version of events, saying Spitzer, who is divorced, had heard from the woman last week.

“This is someone that he had a relationship with in the past,” Kaufmann said, though he declined to say how long Spitzer had known her.

She left the hospital on Sunday and flew to Russia as scheduled, Kaufmann said. And on Monday, she sent the email. “I just read the news, I’m so sorry,” she said, offering to send a statement to police “that my report was all fake.”

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