A woman who worked as a massage therapist at Wynn Resorts filed a civil lawsuit Wednesday against Steve Wynn and the casino company’s board, alleging that Wynn repeatedly propositioned her and pressured her to touch his genitals on about a dozen occasions during private massages.
The woman is a 49-year-old who started working at Wynn Resorts in 2005 and is only identified as “Jane Doe” in the lawsuit. She described conduct similar to that reported in by the Wall Street Journal in January, although her attorney, Democratic Assemblyman Justin Watkins, said he couldn’t confirm whether she is the same person.
The complaint, filed in Clark County District Court, alleges assault, battery, breach of contract, aiding and abetting from the board, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy, among other things.
A spokesman for Wynn Resorts did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Nevada Independent on Wednesday afternoon. When the original story came out, Wynn responded that “the idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous.” He stepped down as the head of Wynn Resorts in early February.
The Gaming Control Board is investigating Wynn, as is the Wynn Resorts board.
The woman alleges that over a series of massage appointments starting in 2011 Wynn began “mentally and emotionally grooming” her for his “true intentions,” which the lawsuit describes as “leveraging his immense power to coerce (the woman) to perform sexual favors.” The massages were routinely scheduled to take place in Wynn’s office at Wynn Resorts behind a locked door guarded by security officers and dogs, according to the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, Wynn “asked calculated questions of (the woman) to ensure he discovered any weaknesses he could exploit, such as her financial dependency on keeping her job.” The woman had been going through a divorce and was becoming a single mother who needed her job to provide for her children, the complaint said.
Wynn then started exposing himself to the woman, purposefully removing the towel that covered his genitals, according to the lawsuit. He also instructed the woman to massage his genitals, and she was under the belief that she would be fired or physically harmed if she didn’t comply, the complaint said.
Wynn forced the woman to masturbate him about a dozen times over the course of a year, the complaint said. She said he made “innumerable” verbal propositions for sex and “countless” comments about her physical appearance, and touched her legs and body during the massages. She also alleges that he placed his hands near her vaginal area, according to the lawsuit.
During the massages, Wynn had his personal security guard stand outside and told the woman that his dogs were trained to attack on command, the complaint said.
The woman said she did not comply with his requests for sex and consistently objected to Wynn’s advances, telling him she did not want to perform any sexual acts on him or see him nude, according to the lawsuit. She said he instructed her not to tell anyone about what happened during the massage sessions, and would “tip” her $1,000 afterward.
The woman was afraid to go to work because of Wynn’s behavior and demands and was afraid of how she would be treated by her colleagues because of his actions, the complaint said. Wynn attempted to prevent the woman from seeking administrative or legal remedies against him through payment, intimidation or duress, according to the lawsuit.
She is seeking general and punitive damages in excess of $50,000, and attorneys fees and costs.
The complaint also implicates the company and its board, saying they were aware of “Wynn’s proclivities of sexual assault and sexual harassment” but “chose to conceal such information” and didn’t warn the plaintiff. The lawsuit states that the woman learned through media reports and court filings in the wake of the Journal story that the Wynn board and company were aware of Wynn’s “predatory behaviors” and “assisted, encouraged, endorsed, acted in concert with, and/or otherwise adopted Wynn’s behavior as their own.”