Former American International Group (NYSE:AIG) chief executive Hank Greenberg sued former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer late Friday for what he alleges are defamatory remarks against his character.
The lawsuit, which was filed in New York Supreme Court in Putnam County, said Spitzer embarked on a “long-standing malicious campaign … to discredit Mr. Greenberg, and damage Mr. Greenberg’s reputation and career, while attempting to bolster Mr. Spitzer’s career and reputation.”
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The move comes as Spitzer makes his bid for New York City Comptroller. Spitzer resigned as New York Governor in March 2008 amid a scandal in which he allegedly had numerous liaisons with prostitutes for tens of thousands of dollars. Spitzer, who was in California taping an appearance with Jay Leno, was not immediately available for comment.
The suit cites numerous of examples of Spitzer allegedly making false statement about Greenberg’s role in the near collapse of the insurance giant. In one such instance, the suit said, Spitzer told a reporter with the New York Law Journal Greenberg cannot avoid “the simple reality they were running a crooked company.”
The suit goes on to mention television appearances, private conversations and other such details in which Spitzer makes remarks suggesting Greenberg was a corrupt individual.
Greenberg ran the insurance behemoth from 1968 through 2005. AIG nearly toppled and was bailed out by the U.S. government three years later during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Greenberg is represented by attorneys at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP.