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Russian hooker accused of blackmailing 'Luv Gov' Spitzer considering plea

Svetlana Travis Zakharova's lawyer is trying to work out a deal that will eliminate the chance of deportation for the Russian escort.
Spitzer
Svetlana Travis Zakharova allegedly extorted $400,000 from former Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Photo: Getty Images

The $5,000-a-night Russian prostitute accused of extorting former Gov. Eliot Spitzer is considering a plea deal, prosecutors said Wednesday in Manhattan court.

Svetlana Travis Zakharova, 26, faces charges for allegedly blackmailing the "Luv Gov." Prosecutors say she shook down Spitzer for $400,000 between 2014 and 2016, threatening to take their affair public.

In October 2016, prosecutors said she “consistently threatened to expose intimate details of prior relationships with [Spitzer's] family as well as the media.”

The threat of deportation is holding up the deal.

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“I’m looking for a plea that will not require her to be deported,” Zakharova’s lawyer Joseph Murray said, the New York Post reported. “They [prosecutors] have been working very hard with me.”

“Most felony convictions will almost certainly lead to removal proceedings and some misdemeanor convictions as well,” immigration lawyer Michael Goldman told the Post. Goldman is not involved in Zakharova’s case.

Hearings were scheduled to begin Wednesday, but prosecutors filed a letter indicating they were not ready to proceed.

Initially, Zakharova claimed Spitzer assaulted her by choking her in his $1,000 per night suite at the Plaza Hotel in February 2016. The Russian escort says the fallen politician became angry when she told him she was returning to her home country.

Spitzer has said the woman’s accusations were revenge after he ended their liaison.

In January, a judge had to tell the Russian model to get over herself after she refused to leave her jail cell. She apparently didn’t like her prison makeover, the New York Post reported at the time.

Zakharova is also indicted in a separate case in which she allegedly targeted another ex-lover, Manhattan toy-store owner Paul Nipples.

“Mr. Murray and I have been talking, and there is a possibility of a disposition,” Assistant District Attorney Stuart Levy told Justice Charles Solomon in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The Bronx District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting both cases. Zakharova is due back in court Oct. 30. If she shuns a deal and is convicted of blackmailing Spitzer, Zakharova faces up to 15 years in jail and deportation.

 
 
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