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Article Exposing Steve Wynn’s Sexual Coercion Killed In 1998

The Las Vegas Review-Journal stopped the publication of an article detailing Steve Wynn’s rampant sexual harassment and ordered the article deleted from the newspaper’s computer system, the Review-Journal reported.

The article was killed in 1998 after Wynn’s lawyers met with newspaper leadership, and the newspaper paid for two former employees of Wynn to undergo lie detector tests. Details in the article included a culture of harassment at Wynn’s casinos, and that waitresses were sent to “accommodate” high-rollers in their hotel suites.

Neither Thomas Mitchell, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, or publisher, Sherman Frederick, at the time the article was reported could recall the details from the incident.

“We looked into those sort of things but couldn’t nail them down,” said Mitchell. Mitchell said he did not kill stories due to outside pressure.

Included in the article were details from a 1997 federal lawsuit against the Mirage casino, where Wynn was chairman, brought by 11 waitresses. They told of how they were asked to give patrons kisses, consent to being groped and told to have sex with patrons for money. The Mirage settled the suits by 2003.

Lie detector tests very rarely used by mainstream media outlets. The man who performed the polygraph for the Review-Journal said the only other paper he had done such a test for was the National Enquirer.

In 2015, casino magnate and major Republican funder Sheldon Adelson bought the Review-Journal. Since the sale, articles about Adelson’s ventures and businesses have been killed and heavily edited by senior management.

Contact Ari Feldman at feldman@forward.com or on Twitter @aefeldman

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