Multiple women have described years’ worth of sexual harassment, including one accusation of sexual assault, by Las Vegas casino mogul and Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The gravest allegation concerns a woman who worked as a Wynn resort manicurist, who said that in 2005, Wynn pressured her into sex after she gave him a manicure in his office. The manicurist was later paid a settlement reportedly worth $7.5 million. Wynn’s lawyers acknowledged the existence of the personal payment in a lawsuit over stock restrictions by Wynn’s ex-wife and former Wynn Resorts board member Elaine Wynn.
Another accusation comes from a former Wynn Las Vegas massage therapist, who said Wynn insisted that she masturbate him during appointments. Later, she said, he asked her for oral sex, which she refused. A second resort massage therapist described Wynn’s requests to “go higher” as she massaged his thighs, and a third former employee recalled Wynn asking her, “So when are you going to come into my office and fuck me?” Multiple former employees said they felt intimidated by Wynn’s power and dependent on him for jobs:
The contrast between Mr. Wynn’s position and that of the salon and spa employees is stark. Former employees said their awareness of Mr. Wynn’s power in Las Vegas, combined with the knowledge that the jobs they held were among the best-paying available there, added up to a feeling of dependence and intimidation when Mr. Wynn made requests of them.
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.
A powerful figure in Las Vegas for decades, Wynn has built many of the city’s splashiest casinos, including the Bellagio, the Mirage, and Treasure Island, though his company currently controls the Encore, the Wynn Las Vegas, and two casinos in Macau, China. Forbes places Wynn’s wealth at an estimated $3.6 billion. He is also the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, hosting a $100,000-per-couple campaign fundraiser for President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago last weekend. The Washington Post reports that Wynn has “no immediate plans” to step down from his RNC position.
The Journal’s story goes on to describe Wynn, who turns 76 Saturday, as a frequent presence at his own resorts, often requesting spa services in his private office and walking around in short shorts without underwear that sometimes exposed his genitals. In a deposition from a separate lawsuit from the 1990s, a former executive of a Wynn-controlled casino said he “routinely received complaints from various department heads regarding Wynn’s chronic sexual harassment of female employees.”
Wynn denied accusations in a statement to the Journal, writing, “The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous. 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 multiyear lawsuits.”
In a separate statement, Wynn Resorts accused Elaine Wynn of trying to “tarnish the reputation of Mr. Wynn in an attempt to pressure a revised divorce settlement.”