Silvano Orsi, a Rochester native and now a laws student in Boston (pictured, left), has been engaged in a years-long battle against Sheik Falah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (the brother of United Arab Emirates ruler Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan) over allegations Al Nahyan whipped him with a belt at a Swiss hotel after Orsi refused his flirtatious advances back in 2003. Along the way, Al Nahyan has been found guilty by a Swiss court, then acquitted, then ruled guilty again on civil charges but forced only to pay a fine, and not convicted of inflicting bodily harm with a dangerous object. Now Orsi is once again going after his royal attacker — this time with a $7 million defamation suit.
As we reported in September 2010: “In 2003, Al-Nahyan tried sending over a bottle of bubbly to Rochester native, who declined. So Al-Nahyan allegedly came over, sat on Orsi’s lap and began fondling him. Orsi tried to escape his advances, and Al-Nahyan wasn’t having it, taking his belt to Orsi’s face, head, and body. In 2008, a court ruled against Al-Nahyan and ordered him to pay a paltry 10,000 Swiss francs — but that decision was overturned.”
In his new suit, Orsi claims Al Nahyan and his cohorts have defamed him by making false statements to the press and in court. “We believe that the statements have falsely portrayed him as being anti-Islamic and homophobic, and a generally violent person, which has resulted in his inability to get employment and resulted in further mental anguish as well as a great loss to his professional reputation and his professional standing in the community,” says his attorney Jerrold Neeff. And now they would like seven million dollars for emotional distress, loss of business, personal humiliation and mental anguish. I would like at least 2 percent of whatever sum is recovered for having to continue covering this case.