Casino icon Steve Wynn is suing his former company and Massachusetts gaming regulators to block the release of a report into his alleged sexual misconduct.
On Wednesday, Steve filed suit in Las Vegas against Wynn Resorts and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) to prevent the release of an investigative report the MGC commissioned to determine what Wynn execs knew of the allegations against Steve and when they knew it.
The MGC probe was launched following the emergence in January of multiple allegations of Steve sexually harassing Wynn’s female staff. Evidence subsequently emerged suggesting the company was aware of a $7.5m paternity suit settlement involving a former manicurist at Wynn Las Vegas yet failed to disclose this info to the MGC during license suitability vetting for Wynn’s in-development Encore Boston Harbor casino.
The report was supposed to be made public in December but Steve, who resigned his CEO/chairmanship of Wynn Resorts in February, is hellbent on preventing that release. Steve argues that Wynn improperly shared “scores of documents” with the MGC that are protected by attorney-client privilege.
Steve, who has denied the harassment allegations, claims that he and his former company had a verbal agreement to mount a joint defense against a variety of lawsuits, including his fight with his ex-wife Elaine over her freedom to sell her Wynn shares. Steve has accused his wife of being the one to first mention the harrassment allegations in legal filings.
As a result of this joint defense agreement, Steve shared info with the company that he otherwise wouldn’t have. According to Steve’s lawsuit, Wynn went on to disclose this privileged info to investigators “at the unrelenting behest of [MGC] officials.”
Steve’s attorney had asked to read the MGC’s report before it was made public to ensure it contained no privileged, false or defamatory material. The MGC’s attorney rejected this request based on his belief that a joint defense agreement had no bearing on the material discussed in the report.
The MGC, clearly showing no remorse at having seen Steve depart the Wynn fold, issued a statement saying the lawsuit was “not surprising as it is consistent with his established litigious tendencies.” The MGC intends to mount “a vigorous defense” against Steve’s suit and his “baseless claims for damages.”
MGC exec director Edward Bedrosian said Thursday that the intention was to “litigate these issues as quickly as possible” so as not to delay the report’s completion and an adjudicatory hearing into its findings. However, Bedorsian said the report won’t be delivered to the MGC until the lawsuit is resolved.