The bombshells just keep coming. Now media mogul Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone, stands accused of sexual harassment.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, writer Ben Ryan profiled an alleged encounter with the openly gay media giant in 2005 that left him shaken. According to Ryan, he first met Wenner in his office and was given an assignment for Men's Journal, also owned by Wenner. After several weeks went by, Ryan claims Wenner invited him up for a meeting at his Upper West Side townhouse. Ryan agreed to the meeting and met Wenner at his place as asked. Later on in the meeting, when the two were seated on the couch, Ryan said Wenner made his move.
“I had Jann Wenner’s tongue in my mouth,” Ryan said. “I went along for a second but then said something to the effect of ‘Oh, please, I’m not that kind of girl.’”
Ryan made sure to note that Wenner “got very upset and was pseudo-threatening of how bad it could be if this got out.”
“All of a sudden I was the bad guy and I felt like I was in the hot seat and being grilled," Ryan said.
When Ryan exited into the foyer, Wenner made him an offer: Stay, and I’ll give you a writing contract.
“I think there was that moment where it’s like time stood still, and you’re imagining how this could be the answer to all my struggles. All I would have to do is this one thing,” Ryan said. “But that’s not me. I would never do that.”
For proof, Ryan provided his journal that profiled the encounter of that evening:
Thursday, August 11, 2005. Last night Jann Wenner asked me to come to his townhouse for a drink at 10:30 p.m. I knew this would happen sooner or later, I just didn’t think he’d take such a direct approach. It was the most pure form of sexual harassment: he pawed and groped and I insisted no but he persisted promising me a “25 article contract” in the most disingenuous voice. “Preferential treatment.” I was forced to kiss him. His mouth was dry and he was a serpent-like kisser, lashing with his tongue. After 90 minutes I left dignity relatively intact.
Ryan's boyfriend at the time, James Harris, confirmed that Ryan told him of Wenner's actions shortly after the encounter. Three other people also confirmed that Ryan told them the same thing.
Wenner acknowledges the encounter, but claims it happened differently: “I met him twelve years ago and did flirt with him. There was no quid pro quo. He refused my advances, but still went on to have his assignment from Men’s Journal published.”
Ryan's ex-boyfriend strongly disagrees the encounter was just harmless play.
“He was very upset about what transpired,” he recalled. “It was one of those things, that he’s a freelance writer, and these kinds of meetings and contacts are important for his career. He was hoping it would have been a big break for him.”
In a recent biography of Wanner, "Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine," author Joe Hagan said that the media giant “was known for his jovial sexual harassment.”
"He fancied himself as a sort of polymorphous-perverse William Randolph Hearst," said Glenn O’Brien, who joined Rolling Stone in 1973 and quit after what he said were Wenner’s unwanted advances. "He told me he had slept with everyone who had worked for him."
Here is another passage:
He didn’t discriminate between men and women; he liked them both. "He was hitting on every girl and every guy," said Lynn Hirschberg. "He once grabbed me around the hips and said, ‘Ten more pounds and you’ll be perfect.’ This was in front of everybody at a meeting and I wanted to die. It was like this schoolboy crap."
Ryan claims that the fallout surrounding allegations made against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey emboldened him to come forward.
Founded in 1967, Rolling Stone has led the charge in pushing leftist values without even a modicum of balance or impartiality. In recent years, the magazine has referred to President Bush as the “worst president in history," pushed for transgender bathrooms, published a fawning article on Canada's PM Justin Trudeau, and, in perhaps its most egregious (and fatal) sin, published a false story that wrongfully accused a UVA fraternity of gang rape.
With the rise of the internet, business has not exactly been great for Rolling Stone, and they will now be selling as a result.