Billionaire Daryl Katz allegedly paid underage ballerina Sage Humphries $75,000 for sexual favors

Canadian billionaire Daryl Katz was accused of having a sexual relationship with ballet dancer Sage Humphries when she was an underage teenager


                            Billionaire Daryl Katz allegedly paid underage ballerina Sage Humphries $75,000 for sexual favors
Sage Humphries claimed in her lawsuit that Daryl Katz took an interest in her as a young dancer (GMA and Getty Images)
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The billionaire owner of Edmonton Oilers is reportedly facing a civil suit alleging he paid a teenage ballerina $75,000 in exchange for sexual favors

Canadian billionaire Daryl Katz was accused of having a sexual relationship with ballet dancer Sage Humphries when she was an underage teenager, per a third-party counterclaim filed in US District Court in Nevada. The counterclaim is reportedly in response to a 2021 lawsuit filed against dance instructor Mitchell Taylor Button and his wife Dusty Button, who were accused of sexual abuse by Humphries and other ballet dancers.

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According to Canadian outlet CBC News, the Buttons filed the third-party counterclaim alleging they were in a consensual "throuple sexual relationship" with Humphries when she was 18. However, the couple claimed Katz and two other men had sexual relationships with Humphries when she was underage. The claim reportedly seeks to hold the men responsible for any damages. “Humphries was literally a child prostitute to a billionaire,” according to the claim, “and her mother assisted her in laundering the money she was paid and in trafficking her to Katz.”

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Daryl Katz of the Edmonton Oilers photographed during the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft at the Bell Centre on June 26, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Daryl Katz of the Edmonton Oilers photographed during the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft at the Bell Centre on June 26, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The court filing obtained by CBC includes an exhibit showing texts allegedly exchanged between Katz and Humphries when they were 53 and 17 respectively. That said, it's unclear how the messages found their way to the civil suit. “If my guys send u funds will u spend it on/keep it for yourself?” Katz allegedly wrote to the minor. “And just between us? Even though u r wise beyond your years given our respective ages it would be taken the wrong way.”

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“Yes .. Just between us,” Humphries allegedly responded. “OK will have one of my guys email u. He will send you 50K,” the billionaire then allegedly replied.


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Robert Klieger, an attorney representing Katz, vehemently denied the accusations and brushed them off as "baseless and scurrilous." Speaking to CBC News, Klieger said his client never had a sexual relationship with the ballerina, but admitted the two met twice in 2016 to discuss a project the teen was pitching to the billionaire's film production house, Silver Pictures. The lawyer also said he couldn't verify the authenticity of the texts in the aforementioned court filing. However, he conceded that Katz did send $75,000 to Humphries as part of a business deal. “They ultimately decided to pass on the project. But during the period of time that the project was under consideration, they asked for some help to keep with the funding of the project to keep it going. And that’s the $75,000 that is at issue,” the attorney said.

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In a statement to CBC News, the lawyer for Humphries and the other dancers suing the Buttons dismissed their counterclaim as a "meaningless sideshow." In his statement, lawyer Sigrid McCawley wrote, “As is typical of abusers facing serious litigation, the Buttons have filed counterclaims that distract from and distort the truth and weaponize the serious allegations of abuse that have been brought against them." He added, “Their counterclaims falsely implicate others and are an unfounded attempt to portray the women they abused as liars.”

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