On Friday, Wynn Resorts’ stock shed nearly 10% of its value after the Wall Street Journal’s Alexandra Berzon reported on allegations detailing decades worth of sexual abuse by Steve Wynn against female staff at Wynn’s Las Vegas properties.
The allegations include a 2005 account by a manicurist at the Wynn Las Vegas resort who claims Steve forced her to have sex on a massage table he kept in his personal office. The manicurist ultimately reached a $7.5m settlement with Wynn over the incident.
A former massage therapist at the Wynn Las Vegas spa claimed Steve routinely exposed himself to her during massages, at one point ordering her to massage his penis to climax by saying “Don’t’ ignore it anymore.”
These ‘happy endings’ allegedly became a routine part of the masseuse’s sessions with Steve, until he asked her to perform oral sex on him, which she refused. Steve subsequently backed off when the masseuse claimed she was uncomfortable with her requests.
Other employees claimed Steve told them what he’d like to do with them sexually and asking “when are you going to come into my office and f**k me?” Some female staffers reported their encounters with Steve to Wynn’s human resources department to no avail.
Berzon said none of the 150 individuals contacted by the WSJ reached out to the paper on their own. Many of those individuals expressed fear that coming forward would jeopardize their ability to find other jobs due to Steve’s outsized influence in Nevada.
Steve told the WSJ’s Berzon that “the idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous.” Steve lamented the current “deplorable” climate in which “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.”
Steve also suggested the allegations came courtesy of his ex-wife Elaine Wynn, “with whom I am involved in a terrible and nasty lawsuit.” Elaine told the WSJ that claims of her being the instigator of the WSJ’s article was “just not true.”
What is true is that the $7.5m settlement Wynn reached with the manicurist was obliquely referred to in the lawsuit Elaine filed to lift restrictions imposed on her ability to sell her significant holdings in Wynn Resorts.
In addition to holding 12% of Wynn Resorts stock, Steve is also finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. Steve was also vice-chair of President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee and reportedly acted as an intermediary between Trump and the Chinese government on some sensitive issues. So even if Steve runs out of legal options, he can likely count on a presidential pardon.