Leissner claims affair with ex-Astro CEO, blackmailed into buying her US$10m London home

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Two other affairs – with the niece of a Sarawak chief minister and the daughter of a Malaysian ambassador to the US.

The bribery trial of ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Roger Ng turned tabloid for a while on Tuesday as Ng’s former boss Tim Leissner testified that a CEO with whom he had an affair blackmailed him into buying her a US$10 million home.

Asked by prosecutor Drew Rolle about his extramarital affairs, Leissner cited several, including one with Rohana Rozhan, former chief executive officer of Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd. The relationship lasted from 2003 to 2013, he told the jury.

Rolle asked Leissner whether he had ever given Rohana any money he received from his 1MDB work. Leissner said he had – and that he bought her a US$10 million home in London in 2013 after she had threatened to expose his involvement with 1MDB.

“Ms Rozhan was very upset that I was ending our relationship to be with my future wife, with Kimora,” Leissner testified, referring to his wife Kimora Lee Simmons.


“If I didn’t buy her a house, she would tell the authorities about my involvement in the 1MDB scandal. She was threatening to expose me. At the time, in 2013, I was very fearful of that.”

Rohana resigned from Astro in 2019.

Leissner also revealed that he had travelled with Ng and Low Taek Jho to Beijing, coinciding with Najib Razak’s first official trip abroad as prime minister on June 4 and June 5.

According to court transcripts, the prosecution showed Leissner email printouts to which he explained were related to setting up meetings in Beijing with Jho Low and also government officials.

When Leissner was asked who he was travelling with, he revealed it was the niece of a former Sarawak chief minister. At the time, Leissner was legally married to someone else.

Prosecutor Drew Rolle: So, were you having an affair with Ms [name withheld]?

Leissner: Yes.

Rolle: And who was she, Ms [name withheld]?

Leissner: She was Malaysian and she was the niece of (a former) chief minister of Sarawak.

Rolle: She was related to a government official?

Leissner: She was the niece of the chief minister, yes.

Rolle: At that point had Goldman Sachs done business in Sarawak?

Leissner: Yes, we had.

Leissner revealed that when he was involved with the woman, his employer Goldman Sachs was doing business with Sarawak.

He did not disclose this to Goldman Sachs’ control functions despite the company having policies on relationships with relatives of clients or government officials.

Asked if the relationship with the woman benefited him in terms of work for Goldman Sachs, Leissner replied: “Not directly.”

He explained that the intermediary for the deal was known as “Mr Seow”, who collected a fee for intermediating between Goldman Sachs and Sarawak.

While still legally married, Leissner said he was once engaged to the woman but eventually did not marry her.

The prosecutor then asked Leissner if there were other client-related persons with whom he had affairs, to which the witness replied there were.

He said he had an affair with the daughter of a Malaysian ambassador to the US.

Earlier reports:

Feb 23, Leissner mentions ‘bribery’ involving ex-BNM governor’s husband

Feb 23, Ex-Goldman chief discussed getting jobs for Najib’s children

Feb 17, Tim Leissner: Senior Goldman staff knew about Jho Low in 1MDB

Feb 17, Ex-Goldman banker Tim Leissner: Greed and ambition motivated 1MDB bribery

Feb 15, Tim Leissner allegedly a ‘double bigamist’