Elaine Wynn says she reported rape allegation to company

By REGINA GARCIA CANOMarketsAssociated Press

Elaine Wynn, the ex-wife of embattled casino mogul Steve Wynn, said during a court hearing Wednesday that she told the company's general counsel in 2009 that she had received information alleging her ex-husband had raped an employee in 2005. The general counsel later denied receiving any information about a rape allegation.

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The revelation came during testimony in a special hearing in a yearslong civil case in state court in Las Vegas involving her, her ex-husband and the casino-operating company they founded. It was the first time she testified in open court regarding the sexual misconduct allegation against Steve Wynn.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

Elaine Wynn said she did not report the information to anyone else in the company other than general counsel Kimmarie Sinatra. She acknowledged under questioning from the attorneys representing Wynn Resorts that she did not share the information with the company's board of directors of which she was a member at the time.

"I told Ms. Sinatra that I had received information alleging that Mr. Wynn had raped an employee of the hotel in 2005," she testified. She said Sinatra later told her the accusation "had been discussed by attorneys and that it was deemed not to have been an issue of concern for the company, that it had been handled personally, and therefore, it had been resolved."

Elaine Wynn has argued she was not re-nominated the company's board of directors in 2015 in retaliation for her inquiries into company activities.

The two-day hearing that ended Wednesday was meant for her attorneys to show that she reported to the company bad acts she has alleged against her ex-husband and others. Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled the jury in the trial scheduled to begin in April can hear about the settlement and the alleged illegal gambling activities of two company executives.

Steve Wynn resigned last month as chairman and CEO of the casino-operating company amid sexual misconduct allegations that were first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported two months ago that several women said the billionaire harassed or assaulted them and that one case led to a $7.5 million settlement in 2005 with a manicurist formerly employed by the company. Other allegations and a settlement with a different employee have since surfaced.

Steve Wynn, 76, has vehemently denied the allegations and attributed them to Elaine Wynn, whose attorney has denied that she instigated the news report.

Wynn Resorts has established a committee to investigate the allegations and to review internal policies and procedures.

Attorneys for Wynn Resorts on Tuesday formally acknowledged that an employee accused Steve Wynn of sexual misconduct in the workplace in 2005 and that the dispute was settled. On Wednesday, however, they disputed that Elaine Wynn reported the information as a corporate governance matter, but instead did it to gain leverage in her divorce.

"Notice that there was zero evidence presented, none, that anyone on the nominating committee (of the board of directors) knew anything about this 2009 incident," Todd Bice, an attorney for Wynn Resorts, said. "... We fundamentally dispute that Ms. Wynn was reporting this matter to the company as part of a governance issue as opposed to seeking information from Ms. Sinatra and sharing information with Ms. Sinatra as part of Ms. Wynn's divorce case."

Sinatra after the hearing issued a statement saying Elaine Wynn at no point told her that "an allegation of rape" had been leveled against Steve Wynn.

"In the relevant conversation in which she promised to destroy Steve Wynn and said she didn't care if that reduced the company's stock price to zero in the process, Elaine Wynn made an oblique reference to a settlement, and nothing more," Sinatra said.

Elaine Wynn owns 9.5 million shares in Wynn Resorts, which she founded with her ex-husband in 2002. Steve Wynn last week sold all his stock in the company.

A larger portion of the long-running case was settled earlier this month when Wynn Resorts agreed to pay a Tokyo-based company $2.4 billion by the end of March.

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