Update Saturday Jan. 27, 2017: Steve Wynn has resigned as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Wynn Resorts stock plunged 9 percent Friday on a report by The Wall Street Journal that billionaire CEO Steve Wynn engaged in sexual misconduct for many years. The Journal reported, writes CNBC, that dozens of current and former employees "told of behavior that cumulatively would amount to a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct." Some described being pressured into performing sex acts with him.
In the case of a manicurist, the woman's supervisor filed a detailed report to the casino's human-resources department after the woman returned from Wynn's office sobbing, explaining that she said no and explained to Wynn that she was married. Ultimately she did disrobe and they had sex. People familiar with the incident told WSJ that Wynn paid the manicurist a $7.5 million settlement, and his lawyers have admitted that the payment was made.
In statements, Wynn denied he had ever assaulted anyone, and his company said the newspaper report reflects allegations made in court by his ex-wife "in her legal battle with him and the company." It is true that Elaine Wynn did refer to the episode in her divorce lawsuit.
Referring to his ex-wife Elaine, Wynn said she is seeking a revised settlement of their divorce. "I have repeatedly refused to capitulate to her demands," he added. "In response, I remain focused on Wynn Resorts, our employees and our shareholders and will not be distracted from those efforts."
"It is noteworthy that although Ms. Wynn says she knew about the 2005 allegations involving Mr. Wynn in 2009, she never made them known to the board of directors, of which she was then a member, and she did not raise them until after Mr. Wynn remarried and the shareholders of Wynn Resorts voted not to elect her to the board," the statement issued to CNBC said.
The WSJ said it contacted over 150 current and former employees. The majority of those who spoke worried that talking to the media would hurt their job opportunities, citing Wynn's vast and powerful influence throughout Nevada and the casino industry.
Elaine Wynn and her legal team did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.
Steve Wynn donated $729,217 to the inauguration of President Donald Trump, who has called him a "great friend." Wynn also serves as the Republican National Committee's finance chairman.
The RNC skewered the DNC for taking campaign cash from Harvey Weinstein, demanding that the tainted contributions be returned. Following this part of the story, The Daily Beast says that numerous Democrats ended up giving their Weinstein donations to either charities or "political groups who work to elect progressive female lawmakers. " Officials like GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the actions were insufficient, writing on Twitter: If the DNC truly stands up for women like they say they do, then returning Weinstein's dirty money should be a no-brainer. The Daily Beast writes:
The RNC, which last year chose not to distance itself from another official credibly accused of sexual harassment—Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore—did not respond to a request for comment as to whether they would now do the same. Nor did Sean Spicer, the president’s former press secretary and the committee’s former top strategist, who was particularly aggressive in criticizing Democrats after the Weinstein revelations.