Allegations prompt price drop
Shares in casino operator Penn National Gaming have plummeted over 20% in the wake of ‘violent and humiliating’ sex allegations made against Dave Portnoy, president of Barstool Sports. Penn National has a 36% equity stake in Portnoy’s digital sportsbook and podcast firm.
Allegations made by three females against Portnoy appeared Thursday in a Business Insider exclusive. The global news giant took to Twitter, citing testimony from females as young as 19 who allegedly kept quiet about their rough sex with Portnoy because they feared a backlash from Barstool Sports fans:
Portnoy, who founded Barstool Sports, has denied the sexual misconduct allegations and accused Insider of singling him out for a “hit piece.” The Barstool defended himself and denied the allegations via two videos posted to Twitter:
Portnoy, who calls himself ‘El Presidente,’ claims officials have never brought criminal charges against him in connection with any sexual encounter. “I’ve never done anything weird with a girl, ever, never anything remotely non-consensual,” he has stressed.
Black’s investigation reveals all
An Insider statement shared by NBC News said the New York-based media outlet initially assigned reporter Julia Black to profile Portnoy in March. In the process, Black uncovered allegations against the sports betting icon.
“Around mid-April, our reporter spoke with a woman about what she described as a frightening sexual encounter with Portnoy,” Insider said. “A draft was in the works by that point, but we decided we would be remiss to not explore further.”
frightening and humiliating experiences”
According to Black’s story, three women who had sex with Portnoy reported that the encounters “turned into frightening and humiliating experiences that have taken a toll on their mental health.” Two of the alleged victims said Portnoy choked and filmed them without permission, the report said.
As part of its investigation, the Insider did its homework on Portnoy. The agency found that he had joked about rape in the past. They even linked to a July 2020 video Portnoy posted on Twitter, offering women tips “how to slide into a celebrity’s DMs.” Portnoy said: “Be very hot. Don’t be ugly. And say this, two words: ‘I fuck.’”
Such a thing as bad publicity
The allegations made against Portnoy, whether proved or not, are already lighting up social media channels. One alleged victim from Nantucket said Portnoy’s reputation on the island made him like “a king and kind of untouchable.”
The same woman, who said she was 19 at the time of the encounters with Portnoy, also made spitting allegations against the Barstool boss:
After the allegations came to light, Penn National’s stock closed down 21.1% on November 4, to $57.40 per share. The casino operator’s market capitalization lost about $2.6bn in value on the back of Thursday’s slump.