In allegations detailed to BuzzFeed News, writer Ben Ryan accuses Rolling Stone creator Jann Wenner of offering him work in exchange for sex. In a journal entry dated August 11, 2005, obtained by BuzzFeed, Ryan wrote:
"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."
"It was like the entire temperature of the room changed in a flash," Ryan told the outlet, saying Wenner "got very upset and was pseudo-threatening of how bad it could be if this got out."
He says that when he tried to leave, Wenner offered him a contract, in a move Ryan believes was hope of getting him to stay.
"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," he remembered. "All I would have to do is this one thing," Ryan said. "But that’s not me. I would never do that."
He left, and describes the experience as a "turning point."
"I’m not saying he killed my dreams, but it was a discouraging part of the process," he said."
In a statement, Wenner told Refinery29:
"I met Ben twelve years ago and I attempted to have a sexual liaison with him. He turned me down, which I respected. I had no intention of making him feel uncomfortable. His piece was subsequently published in any case; no work was promised and no work was lost. I have never and would never make an offer of this kind."
Wenner is just the latest in what feels like an avalanche of men who have been accused of sexual harassment and misconduct following the initial accusations against producer Harvey Weinstein. What started in Hollywood has now spread to other industries as more and more men and women stand up and tell their stories. For a full list of men who have been accused of sexual assault or harassment in the past year alone, go here.
Refinery29 has reached out to Rolling Stone for comment.
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