In November, Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner was accused of offering a freelance writer a job in exchange for sex in 2005, an allegation that he denied even though he did acknowledge that he flirted with the accuser before publishing one of his pieces in Men’s Journal. Now, BuzzFeed is reporting that another man, Jonathan Wells, has come forward with allegations that Wenner sexually assaulted him in 1983.
Wells says he was a fan of Rolling Stone growing up, and he met Wenner through mutual friends when he moved to New York in the ‘80s. One night, Wells says Wenner invited him to his apartment to ostensibly discuss giving him a job at Rolling Stone, but the two only drank vodka and did cocaine until Wenner allegedly suggested calling a prostitute. Once the prostitute had left and the two men were alone and “mostly naked,” Wells says that Wenner pinned him down and got on top of him.
“I remember him putting his penis in my mouth,” Wells says. “I remember him sucking me, going down on me. I remember his hair on my stomach.” Wells says Wenner eventually passed out on top of him, so he pushed the man off and ran out. He told a number of friends about the incident, all of whom confirmed the account to BuzzFeed. After the alleged assault, though, Wells tried to figure out why Wenner had done it and determined that the publisher had decided he was gay—even though Wells says he had only ever dated women—so he returned to Wenner’s apartment multiple times before realizing that he wasn’t actually attracted to him.
He was later named the director of Rolling Stone Press—the magazine’s book-publishing arm—though he says he never interviewed for the position. At that point, he began to reject all of Wenner’s offers to get dinner or meet up, and he says he was abruptly fired after a couple of years. Wells then turned his back on the whole thing, trying to bury the alleged assault, but earlier this year he “started regarding what happened as rape.”
Wenner, for the record, said in a statement that he’s “completely surprised” by the accusation, saying he believed their relationship “was totally mutual and consensual.”