A flamboyant gallery and membership proprietor who claims to assist the MeToo motion has been accused of sexually harassing a string of feminine workers.
Alex Proud, 50, who’s married with three youngsters, is the self-promoting founder and boss of the Proud Group leisure chain in London.
Final yr he publicly declared his assist for the anti-sexism MeToo motion – and solely final month joined a Lib Dem ‘spherical desk’ for entrepreneurs selling the ‘security of feminine workers’ working within the capital’s evening spots.
However it has now been claimed that Mr Proud created a ‘hyper-sexualised’ office the place he bullied or sexually harassed no less than 5 younger girls, ‘slapping, grabbing and spanking’ them with out consent.
He’s mentioned to have nicknamed himself ‘Daddy’ or ‘Papa’, and as soon as offered a Christmas award engraved ‘Daddy’s favorite daughter’.
Mr Proud, who boarded at £42,000-a-year Tonbridge College in Kent, mentioned in an announcement: ‘I vehemently deny any allegations of sexually assaulting or harassing my workers. I’m extremely distressed these earnest, unfaithful allegations have been levelled towards me.’
Alex Proud talking right into a microphone whereas standing with Myriel Brechtel, Miss Could 2005, and Thessa Gierer, Miss October 2005, on the ‘Playboy Uncovered’ personal view at Proud Camden in London in 2005
The claims towards the colorful businessman, who has greater than 200 workers, appeared in yesterday’s Sunday Instances, which mentioned it discovered of a number of alleged victims. Their allegations date from 2010 to the tip of final yr.
Based on one declare he adopted a 21-year-old intern upstairs at a night operate and unzipped her costume exposing her breasts.
Allegedly, he stopped when he realised there was a witness, however whispered to the younger girl: ‘I like that you just did not cease me doing that.’
She left the corporate feeling unable to complain, it was mentioned.
In one other alleged incident Mr Proud celebrated the continuation of a nightclub licence by lifting up a 19-year-old feminine workers member and spanking her bottom. She felt ‘shocked and humiliated’ and left her job quickly after.
An extra two girl have claimed Mr Proud groped them, with one saying he joked that she appeared ‘underage’ and will revenue by ‘pimping her out’.
A fifth girl mentioned she resigned from her position as a publicity assistant due to his behaviour.
Mr Proud’s accusers say they wish to cease others struggling as they did, however none is taking authorized motion.
Jimmy Web page, Scarlet Web page and Alex Proud on the ‘Resonators’ ebook launch at Proud Gallery, Camden in London in November 2015
Denying any wrongdoing, he advised the Sunday Instances: ‘The historic allegations – as much as ten years previous – are tough to grasp… In an try to be reflective, I respect their must ‘out’ this narrative.
‘Nevertheless, I run a cabaret enterprise the place nearly all of my workers are girls. Proud is a liberal and casual office. I am troubled if this setting has led these girls to really feel distressed.
‘Opposite to what has been alleged, I’ve championed a progressive working setting the place I’ve employed homosexual, lesbian and trans workers.’
A eager self-promoter, Mr Proud began out promoting pictures of celebrities by a gallery close to Charing Cross. He now describes himself as a ‘well-known cabaret nightclub and venue proprietor, columnist, political adviser and media commentator’.
The web site for his Proud Group, which has two golf equipment in central London and one other in Brighton, options a picture of males watching a burlesque performer.
Three years in the past the Lib Dem supporter was considered one of a number of enterprise leaders to signal an open letter backing the occasion’s purpose to remain within the European Union.
Final yr he mentioned a report about low rape conviction charges ‘blew away a lot of my conceited and sexist assumptions… If that is the place #MeToo takes us, then bravo.’
Mr Proud didn’t reply to requests for additional remark. The Lib Dems didn’t reply to a request for remark.
Author: ” — www.dailymail.co.uk “