Four people have gone on record this week documenting a series of incidents in which top London club boss and columnist Alex Proud repeatedly intimidated and sexually harassed his staff over a period of more than a year.
All four former employees allege in a series of recorded interviews that Mr. Proud’s actions were not isolated incidents,
“Every time he came to the bar he’d… always grope your arse or your boobs. Always.”
The culture of harassment seemingly began on day one for this woman,
“When I first started… my senior always warned me, do not let him touch you, do not let him near you, avoid him at all costs, don’t get too friendly with him, because he will see that as a sign that you like him.”
“Every single girl that worked on the bar had to dance on the bar at some point, like table top dance on the bar.”
New members of staff are not informed of this until after they have started a trial shift.
“I feel really uncomfortable doing that… and I was like ‘no, I’m not doing it.’ And he was like, ‘well, come down to my office…Alex Proud… asked me to come down to his office and fuck him instead… I obviously said no.”
When SBT asked how many people had been subjected to Mr. Proud’s behaviour it appeared to be endemic,
And from a other victim,
“Everyone that worked there.”
Throughout the interviews a pattern of intimidation involving groping, name calling, the offering of drugs and propositioning became evident,
“Groping, slapping. Arse grabbing. Sexual comments.”
“Trying to take you down to the office to do coke with him.”
Alex Proud, who was invited for dinner with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg earlier this year, often chose areas of his club he knew had little CCTV coverage to corner his staff,
“On the back dock, there are no cameras, so he tried to corner me there, try and grope me… I had to run away.”
For this employee an encounter of this nature occurred, ‘four or five times’.
The same girl said,
“It was quite intimidating… he is quite a big guy… if he cornered you… there is no way you would be able to fight him off.”
The level of intimidation was not limited to groping or propositions. More serious incidents have occured, the details of which must currently be withheld to protect the anonymity of the victims.
All the victims have given their names but fear for their safety,
“I just don’t want to get in trouble. I know he knows people, I really don’t want him to know that I’ve said this, honestly, I’m scared, I don’t want him to know…”
Alex Proud earlier this week published an article hailing himself as a hero of the oppressed when he turned down a booking because the clients were hesitant about visiting a gay friendly venue.
Unfortunately today Alex Proud was unavailable for comment.
If you have suffered or are suffering from this kind of torment it does NOT have to continue. Please contact Work Place Matters.