Former Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn has filed a defamation lawsuit against The Associated Press and others for what his attorneys described as “false accusations of rape.”
The complaint was filed Wednesday in Clark County District Court against the AP, one of its reporters and a woman who filed a $4 million lawsuit last year against Wynn. The defamation case focuses on accusations that the woman, Halina Kuta, made in her federal lawsuit and later reported to the Metropolitan Police Department.
Kuta alleged to police that she was Wynn’s wife and that she had his child after he raped her in her Chicago apartment in the early 1970s. Her lawsuit did not mention the alleged rape.
“If reported fairly, completely, accurately, and impartially, the Police Report, like the Kuta Lawsuit, is outrageous, false and inherently improbable on its face, and the timing of its filing by Defendant Kuta is extremely suspect,” Wynn’s complaint alleges.
AP reporter Regina Garcia Cano wrote a story based on the police report. Wynn’s lawsuit alleges the AP and Cano “created a media frenzy of accusations against Mr. Wynn.” It alleges the AP story was published by several major news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
The Journal disputes the lawsuit‘s claim that they published the AP article.
According to Wynn’s lawsuit, “The AP Defendants intentionally chose to incompletely and unfairly describe the Police Report by omitting from the AP Article the additional outrageous, false and inherently improbable accusations found on the face of the Police Report.”
The lawsuit said Kuta made the statements, and the AP published them, “with actual malice.”
Lauren Easton, director of media relations for the AP, said in an email Thursday, “The Associated Press stands by its reporting.”
Wynn’s 13-page complaint also lists his accolades, including acts of philanthropy and his business acumen, calling him a “visionary” who worked in casino and resort development for 45 years.
“Under the circumstances surrounding the defendants’ false accusations of rape, the bedrock principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ has been dangerously converted into ‘guilty by accusation,’ which imposes the burden on Mr. Wynn to prove his innocence,” his lawsuit said.
Wynn stepped down as CEO and chairman of Wynn Resorts on Feb. 6 after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.
Last week, Wynn filed a defamation lawsuit against attorney Lisa Bloom and her law firm, alleging they made false accusations in March that he leered at female performers and further stating that he was legally blind.