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Lawsuit: Wynn Resorts still retaliating against Steve Wynn accuser

Updated September 2, 2022 - 5:23 pm

A Wynn Resorts massage therapist filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that the company continues to create a hostile work environment and retaliate against her, years after then-CEO Steve Wynn forced her to act as an “on-call sexual servant.”

“Plaintiff was subjected to rape and sexual assaults beginning in 2012 until 2018 by either Mr. Wynn or a VIP guest and was required to remain on call for Mr. Wynn’s sexual satisfaction,” the complaint states. “This left Plaintiff unable to defend herself or escape and, in many instances, exhibiting symptoms of Stockholm syndrome.”

Attorneys Robert Eglet, Tracy Eglet and Danielle Miller filed the lawsuit in Clark County District Court on behalf of Brenna Schrader, who also is a named plaintiff in an ongoing federal class-action lawsuit filed in 2019 against Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts Ltd.

The lawsuit is the latest action related to sexual misconduct allegations that led to Steve Wynn’s resignation from the company he founded and subjected Wynn Resorts to record fines from gaming regulators.

Thursday’s lawsuit more thoroughly details the sexual assault allegations brought forth in Schrader’s 2019 complaint and mentions additional allegations, including that Steve Wynn “trafficked” Schrader to a “VIP guest” who sexually assaulted her multiple times from 2016 through 2018.

The suit also accuses Wynn Resorts of engaging in racketeering and alleges that company executives covered up sexual assault allegations made by female employees over the past 30 years.

“This is a criminal enterprise we allege that they were operating here, providing sex services to high rollers and essentially sexually enslaving certain female employees,” Robert Eglet told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday.

Steve Wynn resigned as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts in February 2018, after the Wall Street Journal and the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported sexual harassment allegations against him.

Following Steve Wynn’s 2018 departure from the company, Wynn Resorts, with new board members including three women, has established new anti-harassment policies for the company.

A “hostile” work environment

In addition to the sexual assault allegations, Thursday’s lawsuit alleges that Schrader “continues to endure hostile and retaliatory treatment, as well as conduct that is sexually hostile for female employees to this day.”

The lawsuit also accuses former Wynn Resorts executive Maurice Wooden of attempting to cover up Wynn’s sexual misconduct and posting memorandums urging employees to support Wynn, which “created an atmosphere where many employees began to call Mr. Wynn’s accusers ‘sluts’ and ‘prostitutes.’”

A lawyer representing Wooden declined to comment on the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, Schrader is forced to work alongside an employee who called her a prostitute and who called for the firings of workers who allege Wynn victimized them. Schrader also is forced to have a locker next to the same co-worker, according to the suit.

“Defendants are attempting to create an atmosphere so hostile that Plaintiff will be forced to resign,” the lawsuit states.

Wynn repeatedly has said he never harassed or sexually assaulted anyone. Representatives for Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts declined to comment on the lawsuit on Friday.

The lawsuit also alleges that after the Wall Street Journal article was published, company executives held town-hall-style meetings, where employees were asked to raise their hands if they believed Steve Wynn had harassed them. The company’s head of security also was instructed to “run an undercover operation to surveil its own employees,” the lawsuit states.

According to the suit, Schrader started working at Wynn Las Vegas in 2010 and was “conditioned” to believe that it was company policy to never say no to Mr. Wynn or “VIP guests.” In 2012, Schrader was told to give Wynn a massage and found him “completely exposed.” During the massage, he ordered her to perform a sex act on him.

“Thereafter, Plaintiff became a 24/7, on-call sexual servant,” the complaint states.

When Schrader first tried to complain about the alleged sexual assault in 2012, “she received a stern warning that conveyed a threat that refusing Mr. Wynn would result in serious harm,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit further alleges that in 2015, Wynn ordered Schrader to perform a sex act on him that “sent her into a state of shock that resulted in further psychological trauma.”

Schrader also alleges that she was sexually assaulted by a “VIP guest,” who told her that “Mr. Wynn had recommended her as a massage therapist,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit claims that Schrader and other employees were subjected to sex trafficking that resulted in lost wages and led to Schrader taking days off from work to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

“Defendants are culpable persons associated with an enterprise engaged in a pattern of prostitution, pandering, battery, sexual assault, and involuntary servitude, which constitute racketeering,” the complaint alleges.

[More about sexual harassment allegations]

Past allegations

In 2019, the Nevada Gaming Commission fined Wynn Resorts $20 million for failing to investigate claims of sexual misconduct made against Steve Wynn. The following year, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission fined the company $35 million and then-CEO Matt Maddox $500,000 for failing to disclose sexual misconduct allegations against Wynn when the company applied for a license for Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.

Thursday’s lawsuit details sexual assault allegations against Steve Wynn that date back to the 1980s. Similar allegations were made in court filings in 1998, but the Review-Journal refused to publish an article about the filings at the time. The newspaper, under new ownership, wrote about the decision in 2018.

The 1998 court documents also included allegations that women were sent to have sex with high rollers and were told to “accommodate customers sexually.”

Schrader alleges in Thursday’s lawsuit that she became an “abused, psychological prisoner” while working at Wynn Las Vegas. After Steve Wynn left the company, Schrader alleges, she was subjected to “ominous threats about complaining” and was intimidated to prevent her from filing a complaint.

“It was not until around April 2019, when Plaintiff sought the help of a therapist, that she could begin to come to terms with her situation,” the lawsuit states. “However, even with therapy, Plaintiff still struggles to interact with men and is very distrusting of them.”

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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