At least four women have accused André Balazs of groping them, adding the celebrity hotelier to the growing list of powerful men facing allegations of sexual misconduct in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Balazs, known for his boutique hotel chain the Standard, is accused of reaching under actress Amanda Anka’s skirt while at a movie premiere party at the Chiltern Firehouse in November 2014, the New York Times reported. The premiere was for “Horrible Bosses 2,” which starred Anka’s husband, Jason Bateman. Through a publicist, both Bateman and Anka told the Times that the alleged incident occurred. Bateman’s co-star Charlie Day and his wife Mary Elizabeth Ellis also told the Times they witnessed Balazs grope Anka.
A former employee of the hotelier also told the Times that her boss forcibly touched her in the early ’90s. They went to dinner and a mud-wrestling club afterward, where he allegedly pinned her against a wall, covered her mouth with his mouth and pushed his fingers into her vagina, according to the Times. A different former employee described a similar story to the Times.
In September 2013, a female media executive told the Times that Balazs came up behind her and grabbed her crotch at a party, an account her former roommate confirmed to the newspaper.
A former personal secretary of Balazs told the Times that she never witnessed any inappropriate behavior on his part.
Balazs did not respond to messages left by the Times. He also did not immediately return messages left by The Real Deal.
Balazs recently sold his 20 percent stake in Standard International and the Standard Hotel, and said he would be focusing on the luxury hotels in his portfolio, including the Mercer in Soho, Sunset Beach on Shelter Island, the Chateau Marmont in LA and the Chiltern Firehouse in London.