Las Vegas Sun

May 27, 2019

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Former VIP server alleges drug use, sexual harassment in lawsuit

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A former VIP cocktail server at Jet nightclub on the Las Vegas Strip sued club owner the Light Group on Tuesday, charging she and other female employees were subjected to a workplace tainted by sexual harassment and that management encouraged drug and alcohol abuse there.

The "Jane Doe" waitress's complaint blamed her on-the-job cocaine and alcohol overdose on these conditions and said a similar situation led to the overdose death of Bank nightclub host Desiree Veilleux.

The Light Group denied Jane Doe's accusations Tuesday, saying in a statement: "The Light Group sympathizes with the difficult circumstances that result from substance abuse for the abuser and the family. It is never advisable to discuss legal matters outside of court, however the outrageous accusations made in this case require a strong and clear response: These allegations are completely untrue and will be proven so through the legal system."

The Light Group runs popular restaurants and nightclubs at the Bellagio including Bank, at the Mirage including Jet and at the Monte Carlo and Aria hotel-casinos in Las Vegas -- all MGM Resorts International properties.

Veteran attorneys including Al Marquis and Michael Amador charged in the federal lawsuit that management of the Light Group provided the woman -- now 23 -- with alcohol when she was underage, and later encouraged her to use cocaine and have sex with VIPs.

The suit says the woman started working for the Light Group at age 19 as a hostess at Fix Restaurant at the Mirage, and later worked at Bare Pool Lounge at the Mirage and at Jet there between September 2008 and July 2009.

"Plaintiff was trained in what was called the Light Group 'marketing program' and was taught specific sexually provocative non-physical and physical techniques to convince patrons of defendant's clubs to drink, take drugs and engage in sexual contact with plaintiff and her female co-workers," the lawsuit charges.

The suit includes allegations of sexual harassment, subjecting the woman to a hostile work environment, assault, battery, infliction of emotional distress, conspiracy to accomplish an unlawful objective, breach of her employment contract and that she was wrongfully fired. The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

The suit said the woman filed the case as Jane Doe due to privacy concerns and fear of retaliation.

Amador said in an interview that he didn't know if any of the woman's complaints had been investigated by state gaming authorities, which in recent years have cracked down on illegal drug use and sales and other acts of wrongdoing in casino nightclubs.

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