Jefferies banker in divorce scandal takes leave

Jefferies Group
F. Carter Smith | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Sage Kelly, the head of health-care investment banking at Jefferies, is on voluntary leave after intense publicity around salacious allegations made by his wife in a divorce proceeding.

Kelly and other people mentioned in the legal filing, including clients Aegerion Pharmaceuticals boss Marc Beer and Seattle Genetics CEO Clay Siegall, have strongly denied Christina Kelly's accusations of drug use and other debauchery.

"We cannot express how deeply we regret the agony and distraction that this has caused all of us, not to mention our clients, each of whom has categorically denied the allegations," Jefferies CEO Richard Handler and executive committee chairman Brian Friedman said in a memo.

"We are not happy to be in this unfair position," they added. "At the same time, we know that our individual and collective integrity is what defines Jefferies, and we will never compromise our values or our principles."

Kelly requested the leave himself to deal with the issue, according to the memo. Ben Lorello, the overall head of investment banking, will oversee the healthcare team.

Read MoreSex, drugs and biotechs in nasty divorce case

A spokesman for Jefferies, a Leucadia National unit, declined to comment. Lawyers for Sage Kelly and Christina Kelly didn't respond to emails requesting comment.

The news was first reported by Bloomberg.