Billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn is denying allegations of sexual harassment after a report in the Wall Street Journal detailed allegations of misconduct and caused shares of his casino company to drop 10 percent Friday.
Wynn said in a statement Friday “The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous” and accused his ex-wife of being behind the accusations.
“The instigation of these accusations is the continued work of my ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, with whom I am involved in a terrible and nasty lawsuit in which she is seeking a revised divorce settlement.”
The Journal article detailed several incidents in which Wynn allegedly pressured staff to perform sex acts. The allegations include those from a manicurist who claims she was forced to have sex with Wynn in 2005, shortly after he opened his flagship Wynn Las Vegas. The paper said she was later paid a $7.5 million settlement.
The Journal said it contacted more than 150 people who work or had worked for Wynn while investigating the story.
“We find ourselves in a world where people can make allegations, regardless of the truth,” Wynn said, “and a person is left with the choice of weathering insulting publicity or engaging in multiyear lawsuits.”
Wynn, 75, is a towering figure in the gambling world; his company helped to revitalize Las Vegas in the 1990s. Wynn Resorts built the Golden Nugget, The Bellagio and Mirage Resorts.
Republican National Committee post
In addition to being a business mogul, Wynn is the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and has been a large contributor to the Republican Party.
Stocks for Wynn Resorts plummeted 10.1 percent Friday after the Journal report was published. The Wynn Resorts board of directors formed a committee Friday to investigate the allegations, Reuters reported.
There has been a wave of sexual misconduct claims against celebrities, politicians and media personalities since reports surfaced last year detailing alleged harassment by movie producer Harvey Weinstein. However, this is the first time that the sexual harassment claims have centered on the CEO and founder of a major, publicly held company.
Wynn Resorts said in a statement that there has never been a complaint made about Wynn to the company’s independent hotline for reporting harassment.
“The company requires all employees to receive annual anti-harassment training and offers an independent hotline that any employee can use anonymously, without fear of retaliation,” it said.