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Steve Wynn accepts settlement in defamation lawsuit against lawyer

Former casino mogul Steve Wynn has accepted a financial settlement ending his federal defamation lawsuit against the Los Angeles attorney who represented a dancer who accused Wynn of sexual harassment and retaliation.

U.S. District Judge James Mahan on Monday approved the settlement agreement and dismissed the lawsuit filed against the former chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts Ltd., asking for damages of at least $75,000.

“I am pleased to announce the settlement of my litigation against attorney Lisa Bloom and her law firm,” Wynn said in a statement through his attorney, Las Vegas-based Todd Bice. “I brought this suit because the statements made in a press release against me were damaging and untrue. The matter has been fully settled, including with a retraction, and the case has been voluntarily dismissed.”

Bloom, the daughter of nationally known women’s rights and discrimination attorney Gloria Allred, said in March 2018 that she was representing a dancer who accused Wynn of leering at female performers who were instructed to “strip down to bras and panties” when he attended and watched “physically revealing” segments of rehearsals for “Showstoppers,” a production show at Wynn Las Vegas’ Encore Theater.

“I have spent the last three decades aggressively representing victims, regardless of the opponent,” Bloom said in her statement about the settlement.

Attorney retracts statement

“In early 2018, I was contacted by a client raising concerns about her treatment as a dancer in the ‘Showstoppers’ show at Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas. I subsequently issued a press release attributing my client’s complaints about the show’s treatment of her to Steve Wynn personally,” she said.

“In response, Steve Wynn sued me and my law firm for defamation. Rather than litigating this dispute, I would prefer to focus on representing my deserving clients, and would therefore like to correct the record and state that there has been no evidence obtained that Steve Wynn made inappropriate instructions to dancers, nor that he knew about any inappropriate instructions. I completely withdraw and retract any statements to the contrary.”

Bice indicated the settlement amount would remain confidential, and the amount listed in the settlement agreement was redacted.

Wynn had sought a jury trial and damages less than two months after the Wall Street Journal reported that he had harassed or assaulted several women.

Wynn, 80, has continually denied sexual misconduct allegations.

He resigned as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts in February 2018, and sold his company shares. He now lives in Florida.

Suit filed in 2018

Wynn’s lawsuit against Bloom was filed in April 2018. Mahan denied Bloom’s bid to have the case dismissed and she appealed. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco referred it back to Mahan in March 2021.

A reasonable jury could find Bloom “acted with actual malice in publishing the release,” a three-judge appellate panel said.

Allegations of wrongdoing against Wynn have spawned other lawsuits and sanctions. The Nevada Supreme Court ruled last month that state casino regulators could still impose a $500,000 fine and discipline Wynn over allegations of workplace sexual misconduct.

Wynn’s lawyers argue he no longer has casino industry ties and the Nevada Gaming Commission lacks authority to punish him.

The commission separately fined Wynn Resorts $20 million in 2019 for failing to investigate claims of sexual misconduct made against Wynn before he resigned.

Regulators in Massachusetts fined the company $35 million more and the company’s top executive, then-CEO Matt Maddox, $500,000 for failing to disclose sexual misconduct allegations against Wynn when it applied for a license for Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.

Wynn Resorts in November 2019 accepted $20 million in damages from Wynn and $21 million more from insurance carriers to settle shareholder lawsuits accusing company directors of failing to disclose misconduct allegations.

Steve Wynn also has a pending defamation lawsuit against The Associated Press and an AP reporter based on a story about accounts made to Las Vegas police from two women who alleged sexual misconduct by Wynn.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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