Casino mogul Steve Wynn is the latest well-known figure to be accused of sexual harassment. According to the Wall Street Journal, Wynn paid a hefty sum to settle claims by a former resort manicurist for pressuring her to have sex with him.
LAS VEGAS—Not long after the billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn opened his flagship Wynn Las Vegas in 2005, a manicurist who worked there arrived at the on-site salon visibly distressed following an appointment in Mr. Wynn’s office.
Sobbing, she told a colleague Mr. Wynn had forced her to have sex, and she repeated that to others later.
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.
Per the Journal story, Wynn later paid $7.5 million to settle the woman’s claims.
After the news broke, Wynn, who also serves as the Finance Chair for the Republican National Committee denied the allegations, though there are multiple allegations outlining a pattern of such abuse:
Beyond this incident, dozens of people The Wall Street Journal interviewed who have worked at Mr. Wynn’s casinos told of behavior that cumulatively would amount to a decadeslong pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Wynn. Some described him pressuring employees to perform sex acts.
Following the story, shares in Wynn Resorts, Ltd. dropped by 9%.
Wynn Resorts were down 9% at $182.57 shortly before 11 a.m. Pacific time. It was the stock’s biggest drop since July 2017.
In response to the allegations, the company pointed to Wynn’s ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, accusing her of running a smear campaign.
“Mr. Wynn’s ex-wife has sought to use a negative public relations campaign to achieve what she has been unable to do in the courtroom: tarnish the reputation of Mr. Wynn in an attempt to pressure a revised divorce settlement from him,” it said in a statement.
The legal settlement detailed by the Journal in Friday’s report has become a major focus of a lawsuit between Steve Wynn and Elaine Wynn, who is seeking to gain control of her 9% stake in the casino giant. Steve Wynn has long sought to maintain his hold over the company because he lost his previous business, Mirage Resorts, to an unsolicited bid from mogul Kirk Kerkorian.
Smear campaign or no, this revelation has undoubtedly cost Wynn a pretty penny.