Eliot Spitzer
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer denies he assaulted a much younger woman at a NYC hotel. Getty Images

The woman who reportedly accused former New York governor Eliot Spitzer of assault has since recanted and apologised in an email before leaving the US, Spitzer's lawyer alleges. Adam Kaufmann released a statement on 16 February saying the woman "recanted the allegations of assault" in an "unsolicited email" sent to the former governor "which confirms that no assault occurred."

According to Fox News, Kaufmann claimed that the woman did not want to cooperate with law enforcement and had departed for a flight to Russia on 14 February, a day after the alleged incident at the Plaza Hotel. "Unsolicited, she has indicated that any allegations of assault were false, the lawyer said, adding that it was unfortunate her "emotional difficulties" had been made public.

"Mr Spitzer acted appropriately at all times during this incident. He has been and intends to remain fully cooperative in the event there is any further inquiry by relevant authorities," Kaufmann added.

The incident occurred on 13 February when the 25-year-old woman called law enforcement to the $1,000-a-night (£699.45) room, The Associated Press reported. The woman, who was identified by the New York Post as Svetlana Zakharova Travis, allegedly tried to call police back to cancel the emergency call, but officers were already on their way.

She initially told officers she was okay, but they noticed broken glass and a laceration on her arm. Travis was taken to Mount Sinai West Hospital, where she told doctors she was in a relationship with the 56-year-old and that he had choked her and shoved her during an argument. The Post reported she then became "totally uncooperative" and declined to press charges against Spitzer.

A source told The Post that Spitzer repeatedly phoned Travis while she was at the hospital and even showed up and attempted to sneak in. "He was all covered up, with a dark hat pulled down and a black jacket pulled up, trying to cover himself as much as possible so he wouldn't be recognised," the source added.

The Post alleged the two began a relationship at lest two years ago, when she was working as a high-priced call girl. "They met before this, and she was a prostitute at the time," a police source told the newspaper.

The incident between the two reportedly sprouted from her revelation that she was leaving him to return home to Russia. She boarded a 7.30pm EST/12.30am GMT flight from John F Kennedy International Airport to Moscow on 14 February. Spitzer denies that Travis was his girlfriend, but instead reiterated his love for former girlfriend Lis Smith, a former spokeswoman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"The woman who initially made the allegation was not my girlfriend," Spitzer said in a statement on 15 February. "Lis Smith was my girlfriend, and I had and have deep affection for Lis. She is the love of my life."