The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn, a man who sat on President Donald Trump's inauguration committee, is accused of having a pattern of sexually abusive behavior by numerous people who worked for him.
[D]ozens of people The Wall Street Journal interviewed who have worked at Mr. Wynn’s casinos told of behavior that cumulatively would amount to a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Wynn. Some described him pressuring employees to perform sex acts.
In response to the allegations, Wynn told the Journal:
“The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous.”
He continued, in a written statement, “We find ourselves in a world where people can make allegations, regardless of the truth, and a person is left with the choice of weathering insulting publicity or engaging in multi-year lawsuits. It is deplorable for anyone to find themselves in this situation.”
Wynn went on to say that the accusations were instigated by his ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, as they proceed through a "terrible and nasty" divorce settlement revision.
The former Mrs. Wynn denied his accusation through her attorney, and there is evidence that knowledge of his behavior predates the divorce proceedings.
A manicurist working at Wynn Las Vegas in 2005 said that Wynn forced her to have sex with him after an appointment in his office:
After she gave Mr. Wynn a manicure, she said, he pressured her to take her clothes off and told her to lie on the massage table he kept in his office suite, according to people she gave the account to. The manicurist said she told Mr. Wynn she didn’t want to have sex and was married, but he persisted in his demands that she do so, and ultimately she did disrobe and they had sex, the people remember her saying.
The incident was reported immediately.
After being told of the allegations, the woman’s supervisor said she filed a detailed report to the casino’s human-resources department recounting the episode.
Mr. Wynn later paid the manicurist a $7.5 million settlement, according to people familiar with the matter.
And the incident was alluded to in subsequent court documents relating to Elaine Wynn's attempt to restructure their divorce settlement:
The incident was referenced, in broad terms, in a lawsuit in which Mr. Wynn’s ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, seeks to lift restrictions on the sale of her stock in Wynn Resorts Ltd. Attorneys for Mr. Wynn in a court filing admitted he made the personal payment; in a later hearing, his corporate attorney said there had been “allegations of assault.” Court records in the suit are heavily redacted. Specifics of the allegation and the size of the settlement haven’t been previously reported.
The more than 150 people who spoke with the Journal indicated Wynn's behavior clearly fit an abusive pattern:
Some said that feeling was heightened at times by the presence in a confined office space of one or more of his German shepherds, trained to respond to commands in German.
Former employees said they sometimes entered fake appointments in the books to help other female workers get around a request for services in Mr. Wynn’s office or arranged for others to pose as assistants so they wouldn’t be alone with him. They told of female employees hiding in the bathroom or back rooms when they learned he was on the way to the salon.
“Everybody was petrified,” said Jorgen Nielsen, a former artistic director at the salon. Mr. Nielsen said he and others repeatedly told high-level company executives Mr. Wynn’s sexual advances were causing a problem, but “nobody was there to help us.”