More Accusations, Lawsuits Dog Wynn
Accusations of sexual harassment and coercion continue to swirl around disgraced casino mogul Steve Wynn, with one woman claiming she had his child after he raped her and another claiming she was fired from her Las Vegas casino job for refusing to have sex with him.
It’s not certain what significance would be attached to the accusations, which refer to events allegedly dating back to the 1970s.
In the first instance, the woman told Las Vegas police Wynn raped her at least three times in her Chicago apartment and that she became pregnant as a result and gave birth to a girl in a gas station restroom.
The second woman said she had consensual sex with Wynn “several times” while she worked as a dealer at the Golden Nugget in Downtown Las Vegas, which Wynn owned at the time. She said she “felt coerced to perform the acts.” and after finally refusing him was accused of theft and forced to quit.
They allegations were published by The Associated Press from reports the women filed with Las Vegas police in the aftermath of a January Wall Street Journal story that contained explosive testimony from several women claiming they were sexually victimized by the billionaire including a former Wynn Las Vegas manicurist who was paid $7.5 million in hush money.
The Golden Nugget case has surpassed Nevada’s statute of limitations and will not be investigated, according to The AP. The fate of the other case was unknown at press time.
But the fallout from the Journal story has been far-reaching. Less than two weeks after it appeared, Wynn, one of the most well-known and influential figures in the history of gaming, resigned as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, the publicly traded gaming powerhouse he founded, and also relinquished a post of national political prominence as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.
He has denied the Journal allegations, which he blames on a covert campaign by his ex-wife Elaine Wynn to discredit him in a long-running court battle between the two over control of her sizable shareholding in the company.
A former Wynn director, Elaine was ousted from the board in 2015 after she sued to recover voting control of the shares, which she’d relinquished to her ex-husband as part of their divorce settlement. She says she was removed from the board on Wynn’s orders. She, in turn, has denied any involvement in the Journal story.
While Wynn has since said he would no longer contest control of the shares, the dispute now figures prominently into the controversy over his alleged sexual misconduct, appearing to bolster Elaine Wynn’s longstanding claim that the board functioned as an arm of the billionaire’s will and throwing into question how much, if anything, the directors and other high-ranking executives of the company knew about the allegations.
To allay those suspicions the board has appointed a committee of independent directors to investigate the accusations, which also are under review by Nevada regulators and regulators in Massachusetts, where the company is building a $2.4 billion resort outside Boston, and in Macau, where the company operates three resorts and derives the lion’s share of its revenues.
Four shareholder lawsuits have been filed already accusing the board of violating its fiduciary obligations, most notably one by the New York Comptroller’s Office, which oversees the state’s $209 billion public pension fund, which holds around $30 million worth of Wynn stock.
“Wynn Resorts’ board members were complicit in Steve Wynn’s pervasive pattern of sexual abuse and harassment, setting a tone at the top that permitted Steve Wynn to wield his power unchecked,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a complaint filed in Nevada state court.