A well-known businessman living in exile in the US after criticizing Russia’s Vladimir Putin was found dead outside his apartment building in an upscale neighborhood of Washington DC, police said.
Dan Rapoport, 52, was discovered lying on the sidewalk outside 2400 Main Street apartments in the Georgetown neighborhood shortly before 9 p.m. on Sunday, according to police.
Police said they made the grim discovery after responding to a call about a “jumper.”
No cause of death has been released, but police said, “At this time, we do not suspect foul play.”
News of his death was first reported by Yuniya Pugacheva, former editor of Russian Tatler, who claimed in a post on her Telegram channel that Rapoport died by suicide, and that his dog — a mixed-breed pup named Boy — was located in a nearby park, along with a suicide note and cash.
Pugacheva claimed that she last saw Rapoport, an investment banker and former co-owner of the popular Moscow nightclub Soho Rooms, back in May at the Connaught bar in London, where she said he was, “as always, in the company of young women,” after his wife had purportedly left him.
However, Rapoport’s widow, Alena Rapoport, denied that her husband’s death was self-inflicted.
“There were no suicide notes, no suicide, no trip to London, no breakup,” Alena stressed to the Russian news outlet RBC, adding that Rapoport’s death was being investigated by the authorities.
Two days before he died, Rapoport posted what would turn out to be his final Facebook status update: a haunting photo of Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz in “Apocalypse Now,” accompanied by the quote: “The horror, the horror.”
Police recovered at the scene of the incident several personal items purportedly belonging to Rapoport, including more than $2,600 in cash, a broken cellphone and a cracked headphone, the Daily Mail reported.
The news site also reported that in the months leading up to his death, Rapoport was allegedly locked in a feud with a Russian venture capital firm, which was trying to cheat him out of $10,000, he claimed in a message to a friend.
Rapoport was born in Latvia when the Baltic state was still part of the Soviet Union. In 1980, his family emigrated to the US after being granted political asylum.
In 1991, Rapoport graduated from the University of Houston, and after the fall of the Soviet Union, he moved to Russia to pursue a career as an investment banker.
Rapoport left Russia in 2012 over his support of dissident Alexei Navalny — who is currently serving a lengthy sentence at a notorious maximum security prison — and returned to the US with his first wife, a fashion model named Irina.
The Rapoports settled in a stately multimillion-dollar home in the high-end Kalorma section of DC.
In 2016, Rapoport sold the property to Jared and Ivanka Trump, who had decamped to the capital to join Donald Trump’s administration.
Rapoport, who was by then divorced, moved shortly after to Kyiv, Ukraine, where he met his second wife, Alena, a virologist.
Rapoport had emerged as a staunch supporter of Ukraine’s independence and criticized Putin’s annexation of Crimea.
After the war with Russia broke out in February, Alena Rapoport told RBC that her husband evacuated her and their daughter from Kyiv, but then went back “to help my country,” she said.
“Later we were supposed to meet in the US,” the widow said.