Steve Wynn Managers Allegedly Dismissed Sexual Harassment Complaints, Told Workers to ‘Keep it Shut’

Posted on: March 28, 2018, 10:00h. 

Last updated on: March 28, 2018, 10:07h.

Supervisors and managers working for Steve Wynn allegedly looked the other way and dismissed claims of sexual misconduct made by employees against the Las Vegas visionary.

Steve Wynn sex scandal harassment
Steve Wynn allegedly hired managers and supervisors who were willing to cover up his devious acts. (Image: Paul Harris/Getty)

In an expose published this week in The Wall Street Journalthe same media outlet that broke the story in January that the billionaire reportedly sexually assaulted and harassed female workers for decades, additional women are coming forward to tell their stories.

“You need to keep your mouth shut,” Angela Saxton, a Mirage spa employee in the early 1990s said she was told by Wynn’s Chief Human Resources Officer Arte Nathan. “Don’t try to make this into anything,” he allegedly told her.

Saxton filed a complaint that the company’s founder had sexually assaulted her in 1993. She asserts that Wynn asked her to help him into a hot tub, and then directed her to remove her clothes.

Saxton, who was 23 at the time, says Wynn then initiated a sex act, at which time she ran out of the spa. The Wall Street Journal says Nathan declined to comment.

Steve Wynn resigned as chairman and CEO in the wake of the alleged sexual harassment, which he continues to deny. He sold his entire 12 percent stake in the casino company he founded last week.

Business as Normal

Angela Saxton told the WSJ that she felt “zero support” from human resources, and her spa manager, Nina McLaughlin, advised her to let the incident go.

McLaughlin admitted this week, “It was a frustrating situation. Here’s this young, vulnerable girl. Instantly you would be gone if you do anything or say anything.”

Before Wynn Resorts and building The Mirage and Bellagio, Steve Wynn renovated downtown Las Vegas’ Golden Nugget. He allegedly assaulted an employee there, too. In the 1980s, Dora Barnum says she was escorted to an empty lounge where Steve Wynn forced her to perform oral sex.

“I said, ‘I’m married. I can’t do that!'” Barnum told the WSJ. “He said, ‘If you don’t want a job, you can leave now.'” She then performed the sexual favor.

Licensing Threats

Gaming regulators in Nevada, Massachusetts, and Macau, the three jurisdictions where Wynn Resorts is presently engaged in business, are all reviewing the sexual harassment allegations.

Many of the claims have long passed statutes of limitations, meaning that despite the severity of the allegations, which go as far as rape, Steve Wynn likely won’t be sitting in a prison cell anytime soon. But the scandal still poses severe penalties for his former company.

Wynn Resorts is building a $2.4 billion integrated casino near Boston, but the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is reviewing whether the company is qualified to hold such an operating permit.

The state’s regulatory gaming law mandates that applicants have “integrity, honesty, good character and reputation.” The 2011 Expanded Gaming Act also declares that a casino license is a “revocable privilege.”

Macau regulators says its government “pays great attention to appropriate qualifications of gambling companies’ main shareholders, board members, as well as key employees holding important positions.” Wynn Resorts’ gaming license there is set to expire in 2022.

Should regulators conclude that Steve Wynn’s alleged decades-long abuse was only made possible by a systemic companywide security failure, such licenses could be in jeopardy.