Attorney paying ex-casino mogul Steve Wynn defamation claim

Former Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn has accepted an undisclosed financial settlement to end his federal defamation lawsuit against an attorney

Via AP news wire
Wednesday 25 May 2022 01:19

Former Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn has accepted an undisclosed financial settlement to end his federal defamation lawsuit against a well-known attorney who represented a dancer who she said accused Wynn of sexual harassment and retaliation.

Los Angeles attorney Lisa Bloom retracted and withdrew claims she made in a news release in March 2018 announcing she represented a woman making claims of inappropriate behavior against Wynn, according to a statement included in a settlement document provided Tuesday to The Associated Press by Wynn's lawyers.

The amount of the settlement was blacked out in the document, which was signed by Wynn and Bloom and submitted to U.S. District Judge James Mahan in Las Vegas. The judge approved the agreement and dismissed the case Monday.

Bloom’s 2018 news release said 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” at the Wynn Las Vegas resort.

The settlement statement said Bloom wanted “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.”

Bloom and attorneys who represented her in the federal case in Nevada did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages seeking comment. Bloom is the daughter of nationally known women’s rights and discrimination attorney Gloria Allred.

Wynn, 80, offered a statement saying he was “pleased” with the agreement and declaring the matter “fully settled, including with a retraction.”

Wynn attorney Todd Bice in Las Vegas told AP the settlement amount would remain confidential. He declined additional comment.

Wynn had sought a jury trial and damages of at least $75,000 less than two months after the Wall Street Journal reported that he had harassed or assaulted several women.

Wynn has consistently denied sexual misconduct allegations.

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

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 state 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 $500,000 for failing to disclose sexual misconduct allegations against Wynn when it applied for a license for a Boston-area casino.

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.

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