Elle Macpherson’s husband Jeffrey Soffer no longer needs to defend himself in the $100 million lawsuit that alleges he bears responsibility for a death in a helicopter accident last year.

Lawsuit Against Jeffrey Soffer Dropped

Daria Pastouhkova Gogoleva, the widow of tax attorney Lance Valdez, has opted to withdraw her lawsuit, which claimed that Soffer had been piloting the helicopter that crashed into the Bahamas, ending her husband’s life in November 2012. The lawsuit had also claimed that McPherson had aided her billionaire husband in hiding the fact that he’d been behind the controls of the ill-fated chopper.

“We were not surprised by the decision to withdraw this lawsuit, which was riddled with factual errors and unfounded accusations," said Soffer’s lawyer Bob Martinez. “The case collapsed just a few weeks after the lawsuit was filed and widely publicized by the other side and before we even had a chance to respond, confirming that it was a frivolous lawsuit.”

Gogoleva’s wrongful death suit placed the blame of Valdez’s death squarely on Soffer, while implicating McPherson and the licensed pilot who’d been in the party as well. “Contrary to published newspaper reports, at the time of the helicopter crash the helicopter was being piloted by Jeffrey Soffer,” the suit claims. “Soffer was not licensed to fly.”


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Macpherson Named In Lawsuit

'Soffer induced… Elle Macpherson… to call Charles Holzer, another close friend of both Lance and Daria, and told him that Soffer was annoyed about Daria’s delay in signing the release, telling Holzer that ‘Soffer doesn’t have to do this you know," the suit continued, referring to hush money. ”They knew Daria was beset with grief… at the time that they inappropriately pressured her to sign a release they knew was based upon false information.”

The dropped lawsuit was signed by Pilot David Pearce, who was the licensed flyer onboard. According to the lawsuit, Soffer offered Pearce a six-figure salary at his company if he took responsibility for flying the aircraft. Gogoleva, for her silence, was to receive $2 million from Soffer.

Soffer and Macpherson were not the only two named in the suit. Three other passengers of the helicopter were accused of conspiring together to conceal that Soffer was in the pilot’s seat.

"Jeff Soffer is very sympathetic to Dasha and the children for their grave loss [and] denies all the allegations of wrongdoing," his lawyer told the New York Post in a statement. "Mr. Soffer has no further comments to make at this time since the lawsuit is now pending in federal court."

– Chelsea Regan

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