After three women detailed Portnoy’s alleged pattern of engaging in violent acts without consent, the Barstool Sports founder denied their claims and said each sexual encounter with his accusers was fully consensual.
Barstool Takes Monetary Hit Following Allegations
The stock for Penn National Gaming, the parent company of Barstool Sports, fell as much as 21% Thursday after Insider published allegations from several women about violent sexual encounters with Barstool’s founder, Dave Portnoy.
In total, that meant a loss of as much as $2.69 billion in valuation at one point.
Insider‘s exposé featured three young women who detailed how they felt frightened and humiliated after having sex with Portnoy. In all three cases, the women — who were as young as 19 and 20 at the time of the alleged encounters — said Portnoy aggressively choked them during sex without permission. Two of the women also claimed Portnoy recorded them during sex without asking.
The hit to Penn National likely wasn’t just due to the controversy surrounding Portnoy. It also came after the company missed third-quarter earnings expectations. Friday morning, Penn National’s stock was performing slightly better, trading at around $63 — still 14% lower than where it had been prior to plummeting.
In a 12-minute video published Thursday, Portnoy denied that the encounters were anything less than consensual.
“At no point did she ask me to stop,” Portnoy said of one of the women, who went by the pseudonym Madison in the Insider piece. “At no point did either of us think something unseemly happened. There was no weirdness after. It was a totally fine normal interaction. Sexual — 100% consensual… I’m telling you now, her version of events is not true on our hookup.”
What Madison Told Insider
Portnoy’s account differs drastically from the description Madison gave to Insider.
According to Madison, she first sent Portnoy a direct message on Instagram, but after he responded, the two soon moved communications to Snapchat, where she said Portnoy began showing her graphic videos of women he’d slept with. At the time, Madison was 20 and Portnoy was 43.
Insider reporter Julia Black, who said on Twitter that she spent eight months writing and researching this story, also noted that other messages between the two showed Portnoy asking Madison about her sexual fantasies, to which she revealed a rape fantasy.
“You and I are going to get along so well,” Portnoy said in the messages reviewed by Black.
Eventually, Portnoy allegedly flew Madison to his Nantucket home first-class for two nights; however, when she got there, Madison said she found him to be “very rude” and not funny, saying, “He just reminded me of a boring, grumpy old man.”
Nonetheless, Madison told the outlet that the two later began making out. As the situation escalated, Madison said she began performing oral sex on Portnoy. That’s when she said things began to take a turn for the worse, recalling how Portnoy suddenly began filming her without her permission.
“I never said anything,” she told Insider. “I was scared. He was just so mean.”
From there, Madison claimed Portnoy was so rough during sex that it felt like she was being raped, later telling a friend he choked her so hard she couldn’t breathe.
“I was literally screaming in pain,” she told the friend in text messages published by Insider.
During the encounter, Madison reportedly yelled out, “Too much! Too much!” and “It hurts!”
According to Madison, the two did not have sex again, and she slept on Portnoy’s couch for both nights of her stay.
In addition to denying her version of events in his response, Portnoy further attempted to diffuse the situation by claiming the two were “like oil and vinegar.” He added that Madison slept on the couch not as a result of their sexual encounter but because the two didn’t see the world in the same way.
“My recollection is she was still interested in hooking up and I was like this just isn’t working,” he said. “We don’t get along.”
“If what she’s telling that she didn’t enjoy the experience is true, I had no idea and that’s horrible and I never want to feel that way, but if there was a hidden camera in that room, and it wasn’t a he-said/she-said, and someone saw the interaction, there would be absolutely nothing there. I promise you. I’ve never lied.”
Earlier this year, Portnoy faced a similar controversy for being violent in bed after a leaked video showed him aggressively choking a woman with a collar and leash. While both Portnoy and the woman claimed the encounter was consensual, the situation generated enough backlash that investors began pulling out Penn National, causing significant losses.
Allegations From Allison
While the accusations from the second woman are only briefly touched upon and never given much detail outside of her claiming she was also choked and filmed without her permission, the third woman featured in the explosive report claimed she became suicidal after her encounter with Portnoy.
That woman, a Nantucket local who goes by Allison in the Insider piece and who was 19 at the time, said she first went over to Portnoy’s house after being pressured by her friends.
While sitting by the pool, she claimed she and Portnoy started talking, but he very quickly stopped the conversation and began kissing her before leading her up to his bedroom.
Allison refrained from telling Insider many of the specifics of the sexual encounter; however, like the other two women, she did note that Portnoy began choking her at one point without her consent.
She added that after the sex ended, Portnoy immediately kicked her out and she left feeling very overwhelmed. That feeling would only intensify for her in the following days as photos of her at Portnoy’s house began spreading across Nantucket. Soon, people began to piece together that the two had engaged in sex.
“I guess it was kind of my breaking point,” Allison said, noting that she became hospitalized while suicidal.
Eventually, Allison’s mom also learned of the incident and approached the police about taking action by sending officers to stake out his house. Despite her mother’s anger, Allison refused to press charges, telling Insider that she doesn’t feel like the encounter was sexual assault and that she didn’t want him to drag her name through the mud. In fact, all three women have said they’ve been afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation from both Portnoy and his fan base.
Still, Allison added that she “felt very preyed on” and deeply disturbed by the sexual encounter.
In his response, Portnoy said he was never contacted by authorities after Allison’s mom reached out to the police.
“I’ve never done anything that’s remotely, you know, not consensual,” he said. “So this story is total news to me. This mother is saying there’s parties in Nantucket. If you put [out] a police car, you’ll see girls getting dropped off all the time. Totally false. I never have people at my house. Rarely. I hate people at my house. I want to go to bed early.”
While Portnoy added that he feels bad if their interactions made Allison depressed, he also shared alleged messages they exchanged where she seemed to speak positively about having sex or wanting to have sex with him.
“They’re saying she was so depressed by me, suicidal almost, but she was continually hitting me up to hang out,” he said. “And it was the mother who found the DMs, and maybe she’s ashamed. I don’t know. I’m telling you the truth.”
Recording Academy CEO Defends Nominations After Controversial Nods to Marilyn Manson and Louis C.K.
CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said the Academy is not “in the business of restricting people” from getting nominated.
Recording Academy CEO Defends Nominations
Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. defended Tuesday’s Grammy nominations after artists like Marilyn Manson and Louis C.K. received nods for their work.
Manson was nominated for his appearance on Kanye West’s album “Donda,” which landed in the Album of The Year category. Earlier this year, Manson was accused of sexual assault, rape, and psychological abuse by multiple victims.
C.K., who previously admitted to sexual misconduct, was nominated for Best Comedy Album.
While speaking to The Wrap, Mason argued that the Recording Academy should not consider an artist’s personal life in its nomination process.
“We won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration,” he told the outlet when specifically asked about Manson’s nomination. “We won’t look back at people’s history, we won’t look at their criminal record, we won’t look at anything other than the legality within our rules of, is this recording for this work eligible based on date and other criteria. If it is, they can submit for consideration.”
Even though Mason believes artists with serious accusations levied against them should not be excluded from nominations, he did say the Academy will consider those factors when it comes to performances and other on-camera appearances.
“What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets,” he explained. “We’ll take a look at anyone who is asking to be a part of that, asking to be in attendance, and we’ll make our decisions at that point. But we’re not going to be in the business of restricting people from submitting their work for our voters to decide on.”
Other Controversial Nods
Manson and C.K. were not the only controversial figures who received nominations. Comedian Dave Chappelle was nominated in Best Spoken Word Album for his special “8:46.” Last month, he faced severe backlash for transphobic comments he made in a separate special titled “The Closer.” Chappelle was slammed by several major LGBTQ+ organizations over the special but has defended himself against criticisms.
Rapper DaBaby was also condemned by LGBTQ+ groups this summer after he made homophobic remarks during her performance at the Rolling Loud festival in Miami. He received Grammy recognition for his work on “Donda” and Justin Bieber’s “Justice.”
The Grammy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2022.
See what others are saying: (The Wrap) (Pitchfork) (Rolling Stone)
Kevin Spacey Ordered To Pay “House of Cards” Studio $31 Million for Losses After Sexual Misconduct Claims
The studio argued that Spacey cost it millions after multiple sexual harassment and abuse claims against the actor forced it to suspend production, fire him, and shorten the show’s final season.
Arbitration Between MRC and Spacey Becomes Public
Actor Kevin Spacey and his production companies have been ordered to pay nearly $31 million dollars for breach of contract to MRC, the studio behind the Netflix series “House of Cards.”
The ruling was actually made by an arbitrator more than a year ago but was only made public Monday when MRC’s lawyers petition a California court to confirm the award.
Spacey was a centerpiece of the hit series and also served as one of its executive producers. However, during filming for its final season in 2017, an actor named Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making a sexual advance towards him when Rapp was 14 in 1986.
Netflix suspected production in the wake of Rapp’s claims, but soon after, others came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Spacey, including several former and then-current crew members of “House of Cards.”
Netflix eventually fired Spacey, whose list of accusers grew to at least 15 people.
MRC Blames Spacey for Production Losses
In the secret arbitration last year, MRC argued that Spacey “repeatedly breached his contractual obligations.” It added that he and his companies are liable for his behavior, which allegedly caused the studio to lose millions given what it had already invested in developing, writing, and shooting the final season.
MRC also said the Emmy-winning series brought in less revenue when it finally aired because it had to be shortened from 13 to 8 episodes to write out Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood.
According to Variety, Spacey filed a counterclaim, alleging that he was owed money after he was dropped from the series and did not breach his contract. That claim was later rejected and the arbitrator ultimately agreed with MRC, issuing the massive reward, which includes compensatory damages and lawyers’ fees.
Spacey and his team have not commented on the news as of Tuesday, though the studio has since issued a statement saying, “The safety of our employees, sets and work environments is of paramount importance to MRC and why we set out to push for accountability.”
See what others are saying: (Variety) (CNN) (The New York Times)
Netflix Staffers Who Criticized Dave Chappelle Rescind Labor Complaint, One Resigns
Two employees previously accused Netflix of trying to stop staffers from speaking out against the company.
Employees Rescind Labor Complaint
Two former Netflix employees who were critical of Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special have rescinded a labor complaint that they filed against the company, according to a statement released by their lawyer on Monday.
Terra Field and B. Pagels-Minor were outspoken about their issues with Chappelle’s special “The Closer,” which was widely accused of transphobia. Both protested the company’s decision to support Chappelle amid the controversy. They were also members of a resource group for transgender employees that staged a walkout in which staffers took to the streets of Los Angeles to call on Netflix to do more to support its LGBTQ+ employees.
Field and Pagels-Minor filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board in October claiming that Netflix was punishing its staffers for speaking up about Chappelle and LGBTQ+ related issues at the company.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the two staffers accused Netflix of attempting “to quell [them] from speaking up about working conditions including, but not limited to, seeking to create a safe and affirming work environment for Netflix employees, speaking up about Netflix’s products and the impact of its product choices on the LGBTQ+ community, and providing support for employees whom Netflix has treated in an unlawful and disparate manner.”
On Monday, Netflix released a statement saying the complaint had been rescinded.
“We have resolved our differences in a way that acknowledges the erosion of trust on both sides and, we hope, enables everyone to move on,” the statement said.
A lawyer representing Field and Pagels-Minor confirmed that the complaint was voluntarily withdrawn.
Terra Field Resigns From Netflix
Both Pagels-Minor and Field were subject to some level of disciplinary action during the Chappelle controversy. Pagels-Minor was fired from Netflix for allegedly leaking internal information, though Pagels-Minor denies ever doing so. Field was suspended from the company after reportedly attending a meeting she was not invited to. That suspension was quickly lifted after it was revealed that a miscommunication led to the incident.
On Monday, Field released a statement announcing that she had resigned from Netflix.
“This isn’t how I thought things would end, but I am relieved to have closure,” Field wrote. “Shortly after B. was fired for something I did not and do not believe they did, I made a decision: sink or swim, I was going to walk side by side with B. as they had for so many of us while they led the Trans* ERG.”
In a tweet, she added that she was “not happy that this is how things turned out” but believed “this outcome is best for all parties involved.”
Why Did Dave Chappelle Spark Backlash?
Chappelle faced backlash for defending author J.K. Rowling, who was previously accused of being a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) after releasing a series of statements many found to be transphobic.
“I’m team TERF,” Chappelle said during “The Closer.”
“I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact,” he added.
Chappelle made a series of other jokes aimed at the transgender community in the special, including one about Caitlyn Jenner and another comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.
The comedian has defended himself against criticisms. According to The Daily Beast, he also recently continued to make transphobic jokes at screenings of his new documentary. The outlet reported that while Chappelle aired the film in New York, he made jabs about pronouns and “said the f-slur.”