Of the various famous men accused of being sex monsters in recent months, many have been more famous but arguably none have been as influential as Steve Wynn.
He’s a billionaire. He’s an outspoken conservative and the finance chair for the Republican National Committee. He’s a Las Vegas casino mogul.
And, according to dozens of accusers, his pattern of alleged sexual misconduct goes back for decades.
The Wall Street Journal reports that billionaire Steve Wynn has engaged in behaviors for years and years that create a working culture of sexual harassment.
According to dozens of current and former employees of Wynn Resorts, Steve Wynn’s demands for sex from female employees came under the guise of manicures, makeup applications, and massages that were performed privately in his offices.
It is there that these numerous sources say that Steve Wynn would exert pressure upon these women to engage in sex acts at his behest.
The Wall Street Journal describes employees conspiring to invent fake appointments that various female coworkers might have so that they could avoid spending time alone in their CEO’s office.
One woman recounted her story in which she alleges that Wynn forced her to have sex.
While working as a manicurist at Wynn’s flagship casino in 2005, she says that Wynn pressured her to remove her clothing.
She says that he then relentlessly pressured her to lie naked on the massage table in his office.
The Wall Street Journal spoke to coworkers of hers who remember her returning to where they were, looking visibly shaken and upset, immediately after the alleged incident.
That sounds like a horrifying abuse of power.
The Wall Street Journal says that they were the ones who reached out to employees, not the other way around.
They spoke to over 150 current and former employees in order to hear personal accounts and seek confirmation from others. We can only guess which stories they may have heard but were unable to confirm.
Citing Steve Wynn’s powerful influence throughout the Las Vegas strip, most of the employees who spoke were hesitant to speak on the record, worrying that it could hurt their careers.
At least one previous alleged incident with a manicurist led to a lawsuit and payout of $7.5 million.
All in all, the culture described by the report is one in which some female employees would hide in the bathroom if they knew that Steve Wynn was in the building.
In response to these allegations, Wynn’s company issued a lengthy statement.
Interestingly, both he and his company seem to believe that this report is part of a conspiracy by his two-time ex-wife, Elain Wynn (1963-1986, 1991-2010).
“The recent allegations about Mr. Wynn reflect allegations made in court hearings by Mr. Wynn’s ex-wife, Elaine Wynn.”
That’s part of a statement by Wynn Resorts, which also says:
“It is clear that 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.”
The statement also iterates that Wynn Resorts is committed to a safe workplace.
Additionally, Wynn himself says that “the idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous.”
We don’t know what Steve Wynn’s wife Andrea Wynn (formerly Andrea Hissom) thinks of all of this, but we do know what stockholders think.
Shares in Wynn Resorts fell by 5% … and then it was 8% … and then 9%.
The presentation of these accusations as a smear campaign is curious, as one would imagine that it would require enlisting over 150 accomplices and also hoodwinking The Wall Street Journal, a notoriously conservative news outlet that one would imagine would take extra care when accusing one of the nation’s wealthiest Republicans.
It is difficult to gauge what the fallout from this will be for Wynn, professionally. Las Vegas is not Hollywood.
Perhaps only time will tell if he’ll be ousted from any of his many, many business and political interests.