Dave Portnoy denies allegations against him
They were immediately denied by the 44-year-old media mogul, who referred to the article as a “hit piece”, saying that he was aware from many people contacted that someone was investigating his sexual encounters.
In its report, Insider spoke to more than two dozen people familiar with Mr Portnoy and Barstool Sports, including eight current or former employees, and three women who said they had sex with him.
These women allege that the encounters turned into “frightening and humiliating experiences that have taken a toll on their mental health”.
Two claim that Mr Portnoy choked and filmed them without permission, while another claimed she was left suicidal after their sexual encounter.
In a particularly graphic description of one incident involving choking, one of the women said: “It hurt and I was literally screaming in pain.”
The women are identified by pseudonyms in the article for fear of retaliation from Mr Portnoy and his more fervent fans.
Mr Portnoy, one of the wealthiest and most powerful figures in digital media, hit back at the allegations in an 11-minute video posted to Twitter.
He refutes details of specific incidents mentioned in the article, and denied he had ever done anything remotely non-consensual, adding that “cancel culture has been coming for me for a decade”.
Mr Portnoy has a reputation for pushing the boundaries of what is considered acceptable content online, and many see his brand as being centred on crass, unfiltered behaviour.
In the past two years, he has appeared in three leaked sex tapes online, the most recent involved the choking of a woman using a collar and leash, that she subsequently said was consensual.
While Mr Portnoy has his many detractors, he also has an ardent fanbase of mostly young men who call him “El Presidente”, and young women tag him in provocative posts in an attempt to get his attention.
In an email to Insider, Barstool Sports’ attorney said many of the accusations in the article “embody half-truths, are highly misleading, lack appropriate context, and appear to have been provided to you by individuals whose motivations and trustworthiness should at least have been fully vetted.”
Both Mr Portnoy and Barstool Sports have a long history of controversies including racist comments, rape jokes, and the harassment of detractors, with its founder declaring in 2020 after using the N-word, that he was “uncancellable”.