Vegas mogul Steve Wynn accused of sexual assault, harassment

Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas mogul who built several of the best-known casinos on the Vegas strip, has been accused of forcing a woman to have sex during a 2005 meeting in his office. The woman went to the office to give Wynn a manicure:

After she gave Mr. Wynn a manicure, she said, he pressured her to take her clothes off and told her to lie on the massage table he kept in his office suite, according to people she gave the account to. The manicurist said she told Mr. Wynn she didn’t want to have sex and was married, but he persisted in his demands that she do so, and ultimately she did disrobe and they had sex, the people remember her saying.

After being told of the allegations, the woman’s supervisor said she filed a detailed report to the casino’s human-resources department recounting the episode.

Mr. Wynn later paid the manicurist a $7.5 million settlement, according to people familiar with the matter.

The report filed with human resources apparently went nowhere and no action was ever taken. In a written response to questions about the manicurist allegations, Wynn told the Journal, “The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous.” He continued, “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.”

But the incident with the manicurist isn’t the only allegation of misconduct that allegedly took place in Wynn’s office:

One former massage therapist at the Wynn Las Vegas spa said that several years ago, when Mr. Wynn was booking multiple appointments a week with her in the private massage room in his office suite, he would continually adjust a towel to expose himself. Then at one session, she said, he threw it off and said, “Just get this thing off of me.”

She said he wouldn’t let her use a towel to cover his genitals after that, contrary to state licensing regulations, and he also began rubbing her leg while she massaged him.

After a few weeks, the former employee said, Mr. Wynn instructed her to massage his penis to climax. “Don’t ignore it anymore,” he said, according to her recollection. The woman said that because he was her boss, she felt she had no choice but to agree to some of Mr. Wynn’s requests, including that one. She said masturbating him became a frequent part of the massage sessions for several months.

The masseuse was paid $1,000 for each visit. She eventually objected when Wynn asked that she perform oral sex. The rest of the story includes other allegations of harassment including Wynn allegedly asking one woman in his office, “So when are you going to come into my office and f— me?”

I’m not questioning the legitimacy of this story at all but I wonder why someone like Wynn would harass low-level employees who worked for him, knowing this was putting him in a very bad position legally. Meanwhile, I’m told there is no shortage of sex workers willing to meet up with wealthy men in Las Vegas for $1,000 an hour. Couldn’t someone like Wynn have quietly made other arrangements? Again, I’m not suggesting the assault didn’t happen, I think the $7.5 million settlement strongly suggests something happened. I’m just wondering why people in positions like this become so reckless.

All of this has a political angle because Wynn and Trump are former casino rivals and friends. Last January, Wynn was named finance chair of the RNC at Trump’s request. Wynn was also a big GOP donor:

Update: Fixed headline from “mogus” to “mogul.”