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A new Insider report by Julia Black alleges that Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, had “violent and humiliating” sex with women as young as 19. The internet personality, whose public behavior is essentially synonymous with Barstool’s brand of frat-bro misogyny, has been accused in the past of cultivating an environment where sexual harassment and cyberbullying are encouraged, but this is the first time someone has come forward publicly with allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
One woman, Madison (sources were given pseudonyms due to fear of retaliation from Portnoy’s fans), said she was 20 when she started speaking to the 43-year-old millionaire. She called the visit she made to his Nantucket home a “traumatic experience,” alleging that he started filming her without her consent while she performed oral sex and choked her so hard during sex she couldn’t breathe. Madison told Insider that she felt like “a human sex doll” during their encounter and that she started crying and shouting “Too much!” and “It hurts!” at which point Portnoy told her to “stop running away from me.” She also showed Insider messages she sent to a friend shortly after the trip, where she wrote, “It was so rough I felt like I was being raped … I was literally screaming in pain.”
Another woman in Insider’s report, referred to as Allison, did not call her encounter with Portnoy as sexual assault but described it as “really aggressive” and recalled feeling “very preyed on” after she left. Allison was 19 when she reached out to Portnoy and agreed to meet up at his Nantucket house. Three days after they had sex, she became suicidal and was hospitalized. Though her mother tried to bring legal action against Portnoy, Allison stopped her because, as she told Insider, “I knew he would drag me through the mud.”
Portnoy’s company, Barstool Sports, has a reputation for unapologetically misogynistic, racist commentary, and the man himself is no different. Portnoy has repeatedly defended a slew of racist comments he made about Colin Kaepernick, supported a colleague’s use of blackface, and chanted at least one racial slur in a video that surfaced in 2020. His lengthy history of rape jokes and sexually degrading commentary is just as vile: In 2010, he published a blog post in defense of an Australian man who’d been acquitted of rape due to the fact that his victim was wearing skinny jeans and therefore must have had to help him take them off. “Even though I never condone rape, if you’re a size 6 and you’re wearing skinny jeans you kind of deserve to be raped, right?” Portnoy wrote. In May of this year, he expressed a modicum of regret for … not understanding women’s sizing. “Where I failed,” he told Tucker Carlson, “I thought size 6 was like a size 20.”
Barstool and its fans, who call themselves Stoolies, are also notorious for using aggressive tactics to harass, intimidate, and threaten whoever they consider adversaries of Portnoy and his company — including those who speak out against its toxic culture. Portnoy has personally led scorched-earth campaigns against his critics, many of them female, backed by the “Stoolies,” who openly sexually harass and dox their victims online.
Portnoy posted a video the day the report came out responding to what he called a “hit piece” painting him as a “sexual deviant.” “I know I’ve never done anything weird with a girl ever,” he said, before addressing both the incidents described in the article, purportedly against the advice of his lawyers. After stating that he was able to identify both women based on the details in their stories, he claimed they were still interested in him after the encounters. He claimed that Madison’s “version of events is not true” and “at no point did she ask me to stop.” He also pulled up screenshots of Instagram DMs purported to be from Allison asking him to meet up in the days after she came to his house. “I’m scared now,” he concluded, saying, “woke cancel culture wants to cancel me.”