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Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn steps down after sexual misconduct allegations

Casino mogul Steve Wynn stepped down as CEO of Wynn resorts on Feb. 6, after being accused of sexual misconduct by individuals who have worked at his casinos. (Video: Melissa Macaya/The Washington Post)

Casino magnate Steve Wynn stepped down from his position as CEO and chairman of the board for Wynn Resorts on Tuesday in the wake of multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

The allegations came to light in a January story in the Wall Street Journal that said dozens of people had accused the billionaire of sexual misconduct.

Wynn, 76, has denied any wrongdoing, calling the allegations “preposterous.”

In a statement Tuesday, Wynn said that he decided to step down after “an avalanche of negative publicity,” adding, “I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles.”

The board said Tuesday that it had appointed Matt Maddox, the president, as the company’s CEO.

Wynn Resorts shares dropped by 19 percent since the allegations were made public, according to Bloomberg News. After Wynn’s resignation was announced, trading in shares of Wynn Macau was suspended on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Reuters reported.

Over the years, Wynn built and operated several of the most prominent casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, including the Mirage, Treasure Island and the Bellagio.

The Wall Street Journal report said that “dozens of people” who worked at Wynn’s casinos detailed what “would amount to a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct.” This behavior allegedly included Wynn’s using his position to pressure employees into sexual acts.

Wynn stepped down as the finance chairman on the Republican National Committee last month after the allegations surfaced. He was a major Republican donor, giving more than $1.5 million to various party committees.

“The unbelievable success we have achieved must continue.” Wynn, a close ally of President Trump‘s, said at the time. “The work we are doing to make America a better place is too important to be impaired by this distraction. ”

Days earlier, Wynn and the RNC co-hosted a party to celebrate Trump’s completion of one year in office at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida.

Wynn and Trump were not always close, however. Throughout the 1990s, the two were business rivals. Trump even wrote of Wynn in “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” saying, “Wynn is very slick and smooth, but he’s also a very strange guy.”

This month, the University of Pennsylvania revoked an honorary degree it gave Wynn in 2006. It also removed his name from a scholarship fund he endowed and from an outdoor plaza previously called the “Wynn Commons.” Wynn received a bachelor’s degree from the school in 1963.

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University of Iowa wants to drop Steve Wynn’s name from institute amid sexual misconduct allegations