LAS VEGAS — Former casino mogul Steve Wynn has filed a defamation lawsuit against a former Wynn Las Vegas salon director over sexual misconduct claims attributed to the man in media reports about Wynn.
Wynn accuses defendant Jorgen Nielsen of malice for quotes reported by the Wall Street Journal and ABC News that the lawsuit says left a false and defamatory impression "that Mr. Wynn is a sexual predator who used his power over decades to coerce or pressure various women into non-consensual sexual conduct."
Nielsen declined Monday to comment when reached by telephone about the lawsuit filed Thursday in state court in Las Vegas. His attorneys did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages.
Nielsen was salon director at several hotels developed and built by Wynn, including Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. Nielsen told the Journal that he and other employees informed company executives about sexual advances by Wynn, but no action was taken.
Wynn denies the allegations. In a statement Monday, his attorney Lin Wood referred to a "media frenzy" surrounding the initial reporting of accusations against Wynn.
Wood noted that the filing against Nielsen was the third defamation lawsuit by Wynn recent weeks.
The statement said Wynn does not wish to prosecute the lawsuits in the media but does "seek to hold the defendants accountable for the accusations they made against him."
A separate Wynn filing in federal court in Las Vegas accuses lawyer Lisa Bloom, representing a dancer in a show at Wynn Las Vegas, of defaming Wynn with allegations of inappropriate behavior. Bloom said she'll fight Wynn in court and believes the lawsuit was an attempt to intimidate other women.
Two massage therapists and a manicurist have in recent months sued Wynn, accusing him of using his power to coerce them into sexual acts.
Wynn has filed a defamation lawsuit against The Associated Press for its reporting on a separate allegation made to Las Vegas police.
Wynn's lawsuit against Nielsen accuses him of "smearing Mr. Wynn ... at a time when he was embroiled in highly contentious and public litigation with his ex-wife, Elaine Wynn."
The Journal reported that several women said Wynn harassed or assaulted them and one case led to a $7.5 million settlement. The newspaper quoted Steve Wynn saying the idea that he had assaulted any woman was "preposterous."
Wynn has resigned as chairman and CEO of the company that bears his name and sold his company shares.
He reached a $25 million settlement with Elaine Wynn, ending a boardroom battle that started in 2012 between Steve Wynn and a former business partner.