Republican

Steve Wynn — casino magnate and finance chairman of the Republican National Committee — is a sexual predator, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The 76-year-old chairman of Wynn Resorts, who was appointed as the RNC’s finance chairman last year, is accused of “chronic sexual harassment of female employees” in the report. Journal reporters Alexandra Berzon, Chris Kirkham, Elizabeth Bernstein, and Kate O’Keefe interviewed more than a dozen former employees and associates of Wynn for the article, many of whom worked as massage therapists in Wynn’s casino.

A manicurist who was paid a $7.5 settlement gave a detailed account of how, after an appointment in Wynn’s office, she came back to the casino salon “visibly distressed” and “sobbing.” When employees asked her what happened, she said Wynn forced her to lie on a massage table and take her clothes off. Despite the manicurist urging Wynn to not have sex with her and telling him she was married, Wynn persisted, and she eventually disrobed and relented to pressure from her employer.

Another employee who worked as a masseuse told the Journal that during regular 60-minute massage sessions in Wynn’s office, he would continuously adjust his towel, eventually telling her to “just get this thing off of me.” Even though Nevada state regulations require towels be used to cover genitalia during massages, Wynn reportedly wouldn’t let the masseuse cover him with a towel after that, even telling her “don’t ignore it anymore,” referring to his penis, implying that he wanted her to masturbate him. Following the forced masturbation, Wynn allegedly gave the masseuse $1,000 in cash.

Perhaps the most disturbing detail of the report is the fear felt by salon staff whenever Wynn was reportedly on his way to see them, and the lengths employees would go to avoid appointments in Wynn’s office:

Former employees said they sometimes entered fake appointments in the books to help other female workers get around a request for services in Mr. Wynn’s office or arranged for others to pose as assistants so they wouldn’t be alone with him. They told of female employees hiding in the bathroom or back rooms when they learned he was on the way to the salon.

“Everybody was petrified,” said Jorgen Nielsen, a former artistic director at the salon. Mr. Nielsen said he and others repeatedly told high-level company executives Mr. Wynn’s sexual advances were causing a problem, but “nobody was there to help us.”

In a written statement to the Journal, Wynn denied the allegations, saying his ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, was circulating them in an effort to get a revised divorce settlement.

“The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous,” Wynn stated. “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 multi-year lawsuits. It is deplorable for anyone to find themselves in this situation.”

Wynn is considered one of President Trump’s closest friends and personal advisors. As CNBC reported in October, Wynn allegedly hand-delivered a letter from the Chinese government to Trump, in which he was asked to deport businessman and anti-corruption activist Guo Wengui back to China, who was seeking asylum in the United States. Wynn has two casinos in the Macau region of China that account for a significant portion of Wynn Resorts’ revenue.

Despite President Trump calling Guo a “criminal,” he eventually refused to deport him after learning he was a member of his exclusive Mar-a-Lago golf club.

 

Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.

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