Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy is denying a story on the website Insider that accuses him of sexual misconduct with two young women.
Portnoy, who is a well-known online presence and stock market trader, said in a Twitter post that the Insider story is a “hit piece.” He did not deny having sex with the women, but said both encounters were consensual. He also noted he has not been charged with any crime or contacted by the police in connection with the alleged incidents.
Later in the day, Barstool issued a statement saying that no workplace misconduct was reported, and that the private lives of employees are not the company’s concern.
Portnoy earned a reported $10 million to $15 million in 2016 for selling a stake in Barstool to the Chernin Group. In January 2020, Penn National Gaming bought a 36% stake in the business for $163 million, with Chernin still holding an equal stake. Portnoy and other Barstool executives own the remaining stake in the company.
Despite Portnoy’s denials, the Penn National stock was hammered today. A poor Q3 earning report announced today, combined with the Portnoy story, saw the stock fall to a yearly low, then rebound slightly. It still amounted to a 20 percent loss on the day for Penn.
The two women who made the allegations went by pseudonyms in the story, claiming fear of retaliation. They accused Portnoy of humiliating them and being violently aggressive in their encounters, both of which happened at Portnoy’s Nantucket home in the summer of 2020.
Portnoy said on Twitter his concern is that the allegations about him have only begun.
“I’m scared because they’re asking for more. It’s like they’re asking the internet, ‘Tell us bad stories about Dave Portnoy,’” he said in his response on Twitter. “Well, guess what? A lot of f—— people hate me. I guarantee this: they’ll never be able to prove anything. Nothing, because nothing’s ever happened. But I can’t stop a he-said, she-said.”