Woman accused of extorting money from former NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer

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MIDTOWN EAST, Manhattan – A woman who accused former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer of assaulting her has been arrested on suspicion of trying to extort money from him, police sources said.

Svetlana Travis Zakharova, 26, was arrested at 7:15 p.m. Monday at the 17th Precinct, the sources said.

The Russian woman fled the country after accusing Spitzer in February of assaulting her at The Plaza Hotel. Spitzer denied the allegations. His spokesperson said Spitzer knows the woman, but she is not his girlfriend.

Zakharova faces a charge of grand larceny by extortion, according to police. She also was charged with forgery in a separate complaint.

She is accused of taking $400,000 from Spitzer over two years in exchange for her silence. Zakharova allegedly threatened to tell Spitzer’s family and the media about their relationship.

Police said she used a Bloomfield, N.J., man’s information and signed a lease agreement that ended up costing him $18,000.

It was not immediately clear if she had an attorney who could comment on the charges.

Zakharova appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court Tuesday where she received a $1 million bond. She was seen in the courtroom shaking and weeping during her 15 minute hearing.

PIX11 News’ Myles Miller contributed to this report.

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