Dave Portnoy, founder of the well-known sports and pop culture blog, Barstool Sports, has been accused of sexual misconduct. In an article published by Insider on Thursday, two women, whose identities have been protected, allege that Portnoy sexually assaulted them in the summer of 2020.
One of the women, under the alias “Madison,” described her experience with Portnoy, stating that he began messaging her on Instagram when she was 20 and he was 43. Madison told Insider that when she met Portnoy in his Nantucket home, he filmed her during sexual acts without her consent.
From here, her description of Portnoy’s acts became more violent, with Madison even comparing her experience to “being raped.” She alleged that Portnoy ignored her pain and choked her until she couldn’t breathe. He also ignored her revocation of consent.
The second woman who told her story to Insider went under by name “Allison.” Due to Portnoy’s popularity, Allison wanted to be invited to Portnoy’s home for a party after graduating high school. She claims that Portnoy invited her alone to his home, which she rejected the first time as she was uncomfortable going alone. This did not deter Portnoy, as he invited her again weeks later.
After being nudged by friends, Allison went to Portnoy’s home, where they engaged in rough sexual activity that left her feeling scared and uncomfortable. Allison described that she “didn’t want to disappoint” Portnoy. Afterward, Portnoy kicked Allison out.
Just three nights later, Allison was admitted into the hospital for suicidal thoughts. Her mother contacted the police, but Allison was not comfortable pressing charges.
Portnoy wasted no time responding to these allegations, posting two Twitter videos on Thursday, denying that he is guilty of sexual misconduct. He stated that he feels the author of the Insider article, Julia Black, had a bias against him, calling the article a “hit piece.”
He claims that though he did meet Madison, everything that happened sexually was “100 percent consensual.” Though he did not deny having sex with Allison, he claims that he thought she was older than 21, due to her asking to meet at a bar. He also stated that though it was “awful” that she felt suicidal after their interaction, that she was “continually hitting [him] up to hang out.”
According to NBC, Barstool Sports posted a statement, stating that “This recent news does not involve any workplace behavior.” The company also stated that though they do not usually comment on the private lives of employees, that it will be monitoring this situation closely.
Though no police reports have been filed at this point, many have decided to side with the accusers, as Barstool Sports and Portnoy already have a negative reputation. On the other hand, some believe these allegations were made because of the negative reputation associated with Portnoy and his company. Likely, more will come to the surface regarding Portnoy now that these first allegations have been made. As new information comes in, there will be more substance for observers to decide their stance on the topic.