Wynn Resorts Chops Salon Director Claude Baruk, as Company Looks to Wash Image
Posted on: June 2, 2018, 08:00h.
Last updated on: June 1, 2018, 12:28h.
Wynn Resorts has cut ties with salon director Claude Baruk at its two Las Vegas properties.
Wynn Chief Marketing Officer Michael Weaver confirmed this week that the salons at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore will no longer carry Baruk’s name. The company provided no further details.
Wynn Resorts is in the midst of trying to repair its public appearance in the wake of numerous sexual harassment and misconduct allegations made against its founder and former CEO.
Steve Wynn resigned in February, and sold his entire stake in the company the following month. He continues to deny claims that he repeatedly took advantage of female staffers and forced them into unwanted sex.
Just weeks after The Wall Street Journal made public numerous sexual misconduct claims against Wynn, Baruk was named the Celebrity Hairstylist of the Year at the Hollywood Beauty Awards.
New CEO Matt Maddox has the tall task of returning Wynn Resorts’ image to its former prestige.
The company has fully severed its ties to Steve Wynn, and added three women to its board in what it calls a “turning point.” Maddox says the goal is to “usher in a new era at Wynn.”
That new era won’t include Baruk, who took over salon operations at the two Strip properties in 2013. According to his personal website, the beautcian was “recruited by Steve Wynn himself after serving as is personal hair stylist for many years.”
The Wynn salons are where some of the sexual abuse allegedly took place.
A lawsuit, which Baruk is named in, was filed in March from an unidentified woman who claims Wynn often tried to force her into touching his genitals while he received manicures. Baruk allegedly failed to report the female worker’s complaint regarding the billionaire’s behavior to company management.
In the days following the WSJ expose, another lawsuit alleges that Wynn gathered salon employees and asked those who felt they had been sexually abused to raise their hand. No one did out of fear of the billionaire, the plaintiff argues.
The suit, which is brought by a woman referred to only as “Jane Doe,” said Wynn returned the next day with a camera crew and asked salon workers to declare on video that they had never been assaulted.
Jane Doe says she was coerced into performing sexual acts on Wynn more than 50 times over a three-year period. She says he paid her $400 each time to keep quiet.
A masseuse says she was given a $1,000 tip for her sexual “favors,” and Wynn often arrived at the spa with bodyguards who would make sure no one entered the room. The lawsuit even claims that German Shepherd dogs once accompanied the billionaire to his appointment.
Looking ahead, Maddox says, “Steve Wynn is not Wynn Resorts. The company is not about a man. Wynn Resorts is about the 25,000 employees that grow this company every day.”
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