LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas Sands Corp. chief and leading Republican political donor Sheldon Adelson is firing back at his former Macau casino executive's claim that Adelson personally approved prostitution at company properties in the Chinese gambling enclave.
In court documents filed in state court in Las Vegas, Adelson and Sands attorneys accuse fired Sands China Ltd. executive Steven Jacobs of "a new low" in what they call an ongoing effort to tarnish Adelson's reputation and call attention to Jacobs' lawsuit claiming that he was wrongly dismissed.
"Plaintiff's reckless and irrelevant allegation that Mr. Adelson endorsed a 'prostitution strategy' is false," the document states.
A six-page document filed Tuesday appeals to Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez to give no weight to what Sands attorneys call the "inflammatory and personally derogatory" claims. It includes a copy of a May 2009 email suggesting that Jacobs knew that Adelson doesn't tolerate prostitution at any Sands properties.
Jacobs lawyer James Pisanelli declined immediate comment Wednesday, and Las Vegas Sands lawyers didn't respond to messages.
Company spokesman Ron Reese in Las Vegas said the court filings speak for themselves.
Prostitution is legal in Macau. But in the email, Jacobs told top Las Vegas Sands executive Michael Leven that before beginning a planned crackdown on soliciting for sex on the casino floor at Sands Macau properties, he wanted to make sure Adelson agreed. Jacobs said in the email that another executive told him Adelson personally approved allowing prostitution "as it would help our overall gaming revenue."
Jacobs, who was a consultant to Las Vegas Sands Corp. before becoming chief executive of Sands China Ltd., wrote he found the executive's claim "hard to believe" because it "seems at odds with what I know to be Sheldon's 'no tolerance' policy."
Adelson is a billionaire philanthropist and casino mogul who owns the Venetian and Palazzo casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.
He's also a big GOP political donor. Adelson contributed $20 million to an independent group backing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's presidential bid and is now backing a pro-Romney group with at least another $10 million.
A separate letter, dated Monday from an Adelson lawyer, called for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to "retract and apologize for" what it calls defamatory and libelous claims that Adelson encouraged and profited from prostitution and donated "Chinese prostitution money" to GOP leaders. Continued...