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A freelance writer has accused Jann Wenner, founder of Rolling Stone magazine, of sexual misconduct. According to BuzzFeed, Wenner offered Ben Ryan the chance to write for Men’s Journal in exchange for sex over a decade ago.
USA TODAY

 

SAN FRANCISCO — Jann Wenner, the founder of once high-flying rock world magazine Rolling Stone, has been accused of offering freelance work for sex to a male writer in 2005.

Ben Ryan, now 39, told BuzzFeed News Friday that he was sexually harassed during an encounter with Wenner at his Manhattan home. After fixing Ryan a drink, the publisher kissed him and promised a 25-article contract in exchange for sex.

Ryan says he left after 90 minutes, eventually doing one article for Wenner-owned Men’s Journal. “I’m not saying he killed my dreams, but it was a discouraging part of the process,” Ryan said.

Wenner issued a statement to the outlet in which he acknowledged that the encounter took place.

“He turned me down, which I respected,” Wenner said, adding that no such writing-for-sex contract was extended. “I have never and would never make an offer of this kind.”

Wenner is the latest in a growing list of high-profile figures to have been singled out for inappropriate behavior in the wake of women accusing Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of a range of lewd acts and harassment over decades, including rape.

In recent days, female comedians told The New York Times that comedian Louis CK had a persistent habit of masturbating in front of women without their consent, while Kevin Spacey has faced a savage hit to his career since a number of men have come forward with stories of being sexually harassed by the actor.

More: Exclusive: New Kevin Spacey accuser tells of 1981 ‘wordless’ assault, then ‘scary anger’

Wenner, who has been out as gay for decades, cultivated a raucous, bisexual culture within the walls of his magazine empire, according to a new book by Joe Hagan called Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine.