April 29 (UPI) — Steve Wynn, who was forced out as chief executive of Wynn Resorts Ltd. after sexual misconduct allegations, is suing a former employee for defamation.
Wynn resigned in February as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts after The Wall Street Journal published an article one month earlier that detailed harassment of employees, including comments by Jorgen Nielsen, a former artistic director of the Wynn Las Vegas salon
The casino mogul filed a lawsuit Thursday in Nevada’s Clark Country District Court, seeking unspecified compensentory and punitive damages against Nielsen. “In falsely accusing Mr. Wynn of sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era, Defendant Nielsen acted with the unlawful purpose of smearing Mr. Wynn and creating workplace issues for Mr. Wynn at a time when he was embroiled in highly contentious and public litigation with his ex- wife, Elaine Wynn,” the lawsuit states.
Wynn has said he believes his former wife was behind the WSJ article published on Jan. 26.
In the suit, the lawyers said the Journal’s reporting set off an “open season” on Wynn, “where truth and context were ignored, and his guilt was presumed based only on unproven accusations.”
One day after the article was published, Wynn resigned as Republican National Committee finance chairman.
He later was froced to resign as chairman and chief executive officer on Feb. 6 and sold his $2.1 billion in stock in Wynn Resorts in late March.
Nielsen told The Wall Street Journal he didn’t know he was sued and didn’t further comment.
According to the lawsuit, Wynn wrote a letter to Nielsen a letter in March, “to afford him an opportunity to mitigate the harm he had caused by retracting his false statements.”
In the Journal article, Nielsen was quoted as saying that ”everyone was petrified” of Wynn. He and other employees informed company executives about the harassment, but ”nobody was there to help us,” he told the newspaper.