Karma’s a bitch. And she always shows up. Even for former gay nightlife kingpin Michael J. Cohen. NBC News just reported that Cohen, owner of the now-closed bar Motel 23, is being investigated for unwanted sexual conduct and discrimination. Motel 23, located in Chelsea, has long been rumored to treat minorities differently, and not in a good way, than their white counterparts. There is even an Instagram account specifically for customers to relay their tales of horrible treatment. (Dude when there is an Instagram account with 1,800 followers and almost 100 posts you might need to look at your life and the choices you are making, just saying…)
According to NBC News,
“nine men had accused Cohen of a range of unwanted sexual conduct, including accusations that he groped or pressured men to have sex or to send nude photos. Eight people had accused Cohen or staff members of treating some men of color and women differently from white men, including charging them more to enter.”
In an email, Jose Rios Lua, the executive director of communications and marketing at the Commission on Human Rights wrote
“The Commission is aware of these allegations, as they have been raised by internal and external sources. We take every allegation seriously and are closely monitoring this issue.”
NBC News reported last month on the numerous allegations against Cohen. Alafair Hall, spokesperson for Cohen reiterated, “Mr. Cohen absolutely denies allegations that he groped, sexually assaulted, forcibly kissed or demanded sex from anyone. In his years of hosting parties, Mr. Cohen has never engaged in any sexual activity that was not unmistakably consensual. He takes these allegations seriously.” However multiple men have come forward with surprisingly similar stories.
NBC News spoke to T., who would only tell his story anonymously, of how Cohen messaged him on Facebook inviting him to the club. This is not uncommon for party promoters to do, and Cohen would reach out to approximately 100 people each week, his spokesperson said. After a few drinks, T. felt weird,
“It was just like a really bizarre feeling that I had never really experienced. I’ve been very drunk before, but I’ve never been struggling to keep my eyes open or have my muscles feel like they’re just really tired and that I kind of just need to lay.”
At least three other men have come forward with almost identical stories. Motel 23 is listed as temporarily closed online. The bar was slated to close for renovations in July but has not reopened. Looks like that temporarily closed might turn into permanently closed.
Sources: NBC News