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Ex-casino mogul Steve Wynn sues over lawyer's 'leering' accusation in press release

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Former casino mogul Steve Wynn has sued civil rights lawyer Lisa Bloom over a press release that claimed he had leered at dancers forced to wear only bras and panties during rehearsals.

Wynn’s defamation suit says he has a degenerative eye disease that left him legally blind for nearly two decades, and he did not leer. Nor did he ever order any dancers to strip down to bras and panties, his suit says. The Las Vegas Review-Journal, TMZ, Law360, the Associated Press and LasVegasNow have stories.

Wynn’s suit says the press release “was a public relations ploy” intended to pressure Wynn into paying money “for a bogus claim of sexual harassment and retaliation.”

Wynn retired as chief executive of Wynn Resorts after the Wall Street Journal published a January article alleging sexual misconduct by him. One manicurist who alleged Wynn demanded she have sex with him later received a $7.5 million settlement, the article had reported. Wynn responded that the idea that he ever assaulted a woman was “preposterous.”

The article led to “a media and legal frenzy of false accusations,” Wynn said in his suit, filed last Thursday in Nevada federal court. Bloom tried to “capitalize on and monetize the negative publicity” by threatening legal action against Wynn and issuing the press release, the suit says.

The press release said Bloom represented a dancer in Wynn’s ShowStoppers show who alleged sexual harassment and retaliation by Wynn. “When Mr. Wynn stopped in to the rehearsals,” the press release said, “the female dancers were instructed immediately to strip down to bras and panties, put on heels, and apply extra makeup so as to be sexually appealing to Mr. Wynn.

“Mr. Wynn would then sit in the front row of the theater and leer while the female performers danced particularly physically revealing segments of the show.”

Wynn said he sat in the fifth row from the stage during rehearsals because it was the best place to hear the orchestra and the vocals, and he was almost always accompanied by his wife or other people. “The performers in ShowStoppers welcomed Mr. Wynn’s attendance at rehearsals because he was enthusiastic and encouraging,” the suit says.

The suit said Bloom had historically “used the media to prosecute individuals in the court of public opinion where there are no rules of evidence and accusations are often made by anonymous individuals based on rumor, hearsay and sources who are not credible.”

Bloom responded in a statement. “Bring it on,” she said of Wynn’s suit. “I will not be bullied. I will not be silenced. In my opinion, Mr. Wynn sued me in an attempt to intimidate other women. This time, he chose the wrong woman. I will fight him in court, and I will win. …

“Perhaps Mr. Wynn has not heard of the #MeToo movement. It is even more powerful than an unemployed billionaire.”

L. Lin Wood is one of the lawyers representing Wynn in the defamation suit. He told Law360 that he has never filed a lawsuit to intimidate anyone, and Bloom’s comments are “errant nonsense.”

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