Rolling Stone Founder Jann Wenner Accused of Sexual Assault by Former Staffer

Jonathan Wells says Wenner sexually assaulted him at his home in 1983

Jann Wenner
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A former Rolling Stone employee has accused founder Jann Wenner of sexual assault in a new report from Buzzfeed on Friday.

Jonathan Wells said Wenner invited him to his home in February 1983 for a night of partying where the two men drank and did cocaine, with Wenner “dangling the idea of a job” at Rolling Stone for Wells.

According to Wells, at one point Wenner called a female prosititute, and it was after she left that the alleged assault took place. “I was lying back and he put himself on top of me,” Wells said. “He was kissing me, but you know, normal stuff, kissing my chest. I remember him putting his penis in my mouth. I remember him sucking me, going down on me. I remember his hair on my stomach.”

Wells said he is not attracted to men, but was confused by the assault, leading to two more consensual encounters between the two men.

Wenner, who came out as gay in 1994, denied the accusations in a statement to Buzzfeed, saying he believed their relationship to be mutual. “I am completely surprised by these allegations, as we have remained friends for almost 35 years since then,” Wenner told Buzzfeed. “I sincerely believed our relationship was totally mutual and consensual — absolutely, and without question. I am saddened to hear this is his memory of that evening, because it is different than mine.”

Wells later worked as director of Rolling Stone Press before he was laid off in a restructuring of the department in 1985.

Wenner has also been accused of sexual harassment by freelance writer Ben Ryan, who said the magazine founder offered him a writing contract in exchange for sex. Wenner has denied his accusations as well.