The former $5,000-a-night Prostitute who accused Eliot Spitzer of choking her in a Plaza hotel suite tried to extort money from him before she jetted back to her native Russia, law-enforcement sources told The Post.
Deleted text messages recovered from Svetlana Travis’ phone reveal that she not only allegedly made cash demands of the infamous “Client 9” but that she also made him upgrade her JFK-to-Moscow airline ticket.
NYPD detectives armed with a search warrant took Travis’ phone on Sunday night just before she boarded her flight, the sources said.
“We had her on a flight watch list because we were trying any way we could to get her to cooperate and speak with the DA. When she arrived at the airport, customs called us and said she was there,” one source said.
The NYPD’s Computer Crime Squad examined the phone and found deleted text messages that “indicated she was trying to extort money from Spitzer,” a source said.
The messages were given directly to Manhattan Chief of Detectives William Aubry, sources said.
An NYPD spokesman wouldn’t discuss the messages or Travis’ alleged shakedown efforts, but said she was considered a victim and not a suspect when she left the country on the 7:30 p.m. flight.
“We had no basis whatsoever to detain her against her will,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, sources said that Travis, 25, abandoned three suitcases at The Plaza when she left the country, and that the bags held more than 70 items, including vibrators, condoms, body lotion, jewelry, clothing, shoes, a laptop computer and at least two cellphones.
Also Thursday, court records revealed that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. recused himself from the case because he is close pals with the former governor — and the two hung out together just days before the alleged choking at The Plaza.
“I have had a personal and professional relationship with Mr. Spitzer for several years, and have seen him socially several days before February, 13, 2016,” he said in court documents.
Vance said that in 2007, then-Gov. Spitzer appointed him to the New York State Commission on Sentencing Reform. The DA also noted that several of his senior staff members held high positions in Spitzer’s gubernatorial administration.
Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Fern Fisher signed off on the order to transfer the case to Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, appointing her as a special prosecutor.
The papers also give the first official account of the incident at the posh Midtown hotel, including a new allegation that Spitzer held Travis in the $1,000-a-night suite against her will.
Travis — identified in the papers as “Jane Doe” — “stated that Mr. Spitzer threatened to hurt her if she attempted to return to her home in Russia, and, for a period, prevented her from leaving the hotel room,” according to an affirmation by Vance.
Spitzer, who quit as governor over a 2008 prostitution scandal, has denied Travis’ allegations against him.
His spokeswoman and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office both declined to comment.