As he often is, Dave Portnoy finds himself embroiled in another controversy, this one stemming from a new report filed by Business Insider, which published an investigative profile Thursday alleging multiple occurrences of “violent” and “predatory” sexual behavior by the famously outspoken founder of Barstool Sports.
One accuser, given the pseudonym Madison, recounts being humiliated by Portnoy (who she described as “very rude” and “so mean”) during a hookup at his $2.2-million vacation home in Nantucket last summer. Recalling her “traumatic” experience, Madison alleges the polarizing media mogul treated her like a “human sex doll,” relaying to a friend via text message that he choked her, spit in her mouth and filmed the encounter on his phone, all without permission.
Another account came from a 19-year-old—assigned the alias Allison—who, after being pressured by her friends, reached out to Portnoy on social media, eventually arranging to meet up at his sprawling Nantucket home. Allison remembers being “scared” when an “aggressive Portnoy began choking her, not wanting to “disappoint” the popular internet celebrity. The experience was so damaging to Allison’s psyche that she became suicidal, landing in a hospital where she was treated for depression days later. Allison had to talk her mother out of pursuing legal action, fearing Portnoy and his loyal following of “Stoolies” would “drag [her] through the mud.”
Portnoy responded to the troubling allegations on Twitter, dismissing the report as a “hit piece” while insisting Business Insider had an agenda, going out of their way to frame him in a negative light. “I have a target on my back,” lamented Portnoy. “This is eye-opening. It’s actually f---ing scary. Because people can basically say whatever they want. This is going to be the new narrative—Dave Portnoy is a rapist. It’s 100 percent false. There’s not an ounce of credibility.”
Portnoy, who has come under fire for his past misogyny and casual racism, maintains that he has nothing to hide. “People f---ing hate me, whether it’s because I interviewed Trump or I go on Tucker Carlson. The woke cancel culture wants to cancel me,” said a defiant Portnoy, who went against his own lawyer’s advice by posting a 12-minute video explaining his side of the story. “This is the next escalation. ‘Oh, he wrote a rape joke in 2010,’ which I wouldn’t do now. ‘He made a video at a porn convention, he must be a rapist. And let’s just dig up every rock.’”
“I never knew [Madison] had any issue. This is the first I’m hearing of it and frankly was stunned to read and hear about it. I’m obviously not going to say her name. I don’t want her harassed,” continued Portnoy, who emphasized that all the encounters described were “100-million-percent consensual.” “If what she’s telling, that she didn’t enjoy the experience is true, I had no idea, and that’s horrible and I never want to feel that way.”