Wynn Resorts is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a woman earlier this month who alleges that she was raped and used as an “on-call sexual servant” to former company CEO Steve Wynn while she worked as a massage therapist. She further alleges the firm continues to create a hostile work environment and retaliate against her years after the alleged incidents took place.
Brenna Schrader’s lawsuit was filed against Wynn Resorts, Wynn Las Vegas, a company vice president, and Steve Wynn over allegations of rape and retaliation for those claims on September 1. The suit was filed by attorneys Robert Eglet, Tracy Eglet and Danielle Miller in Clark County District Court.
Wynn Resorts is now claiming the lawsuit should be dismissed because it is similar to another one Schrader filed three years ago that was dismissed in federal court. In a response filed late Friday, the company asked Clark County District Court Judge Joanna Kishner to throw out the suit in a 22-page motion. A hearing has been set for Oct. 25 to consider Wynn’s motion.
“The lawsuit largely mirrors allegations and claims Ms. Schrader made in a prior lawsuit against the company and same former employees more than three years ago, which has been largely dismissed by a federal district court. Given the current status of that prior lawsuit, and the false and outdated allegations contained in the new lawsuit, the company elected to respond immediately by seeking dismissal,” a company statement reads.
“Rather than seek to amend her complaint or appeal that dismissal, plaintiff refiled … in this court and then apparently sought out the press to garner attention for her latest filing, as if it contained new claims or recent allegations. It does not,” Wynn’s attorneys wrote in the company’s motion, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal.
According to Schrader’s new lawsuit, she was forced to perform sexual acts on Wynn and for Wynn on several occasions from 2012 to 2018. It further alleges that Schrader was sexually assaulted after being called into Wynn’s private office in 2015; and that in 2016, Wynn allegedly recommended her as a massage therapist after a “VIP guest” requested her, who reportedly sexually assaulted her multiple times from 2016 to 2018.
“While massaging the VIP guest, he began to touch the plaintiff in private areas of her body,” the lawsuit said, according to KLAS. “Plaintiff had been told that she could not refuse or say no to a VIP guest and therefore complied.”
The lawsuit further includes allegations from other women who were not named. In 2005, “a manicurist reported to a supervisor that Mr. Wynn… raped her and she had become pregnant,” the lawsuit claims, while further alleging that Wynn Resorts reportedly settled the case without ever investigating it. Schrader’s lawsuit further says the claims made against Wynn were never reported to the employee relations department and were never documented.
Former CEO Steve Wynn
“Wynn Resorts will defend itself in this and any action that attempts to cast the company today with the light of the past,” Wynn Resorts’ further statement says. “Over the last several years, Wynn Resorts has made tremendous strides in reforming the organization through a reconstituted board of directors, refreshed executive team, new human resources policies and training, and a world-class corporate governance program.”
While Wynn has repeatedly denied the allegations, the company did not directly refute the claims against Wynn himself, reports KLAS. “Plaintiff advances irrelevant, false, and stale allegations regarding her employment at Wynn,” the motion to dismiss the lawsuit adds.
In its new statement, Wynn Resorts listed a number of steps the company claims it has taken in response to the 2018 allegations. These include separating Wynn from all company operations and prohibiting him from visiting the premises, a new zero-tolerance policy for harassment and inappropriate guest behavior, and a new employee monitoring program.
While Steve Wynn resigned from his position in 2018, the lawsuit claims that he remained living on the resort property in a private villa after stepping down. In 2019, Wynn Resorts was fined $20 million by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.