Sandals Resorts has strongly denied allegations that it is covering up allegations of sexual assault on two American females.
The Jamaica Observer, quoting a statement from the resort Monday, said Sandals described allegations of cover-ups as false.
According to the statement, the allegations are a gross misrepresentation of not only the facts, but what Sandals stands for as a leader in the industry.
It asserted that the resort stands ready to “vigourously defend itself in court.”
According to the Jamaica Observer, Sandals was responding to a report aired on ABC‘s Good Morning America Monday on claims made by professional make-up artist Melissa Blayton, and couple Jeff and Ashley Pascarella.
Blayton, who was a guest at a Sandals property in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, in 2017 said that one of the hotel’s employees, who offered her a solo sailing lesson, had sexually assaulted her.
In response to Blayton’s claims, Sandals asserted that there are many details missing from her story, including her interactions with resort team members, her requests regarding law enforcement involvement, and her subsequent requests of the resort after her departure.
“Further, it was surprising to hear about Ms Blayton’s allegations, since we have been in contact with her multiple times over the last few months and she has indicated plans for a return visit to Sandals Resorts in 2019. We look forward to having her back,” Sandals was quoted by the Jamaica Observer as saying.
In an interview Monday evening with Cliff Hughes and Tyrone Reid on [email protected], Blayton said that she would “never, ever return to a Sandals resort”.
When Hughes asked to respond to Sandals’ statement that the company had been in touch with her multiple times over the last few months, and that she had indicated plans for a return visit, Blayton said she had received a voucher from Sandals offering her a return visit but she had “only one year” to use it.
She said that she e-mailed the resort company in September saying that she was not, at that time, certain that she wanted to use the voucher; however, she was requesting an extension “in case I should choose to use it in the future”.
However, she said that when the Pascarellas’ story was published in November she decided against utilising the voucher.
The Jamaica Observer reported that it called Sandals for a comment Monday night.
“A company spokesman said that the individual accused by Blayton was “terminated for breaching the company’s very clear safety and security protocols as well as the fraternisation policy as Ms Blayton’s business card was found in his possession”, the publication stated.
In the Pascarellas’ case ABC reported that the couple, who had gone to Sandals Royal Bahamian to get married in 2016, alleged that the butler assigned to their room sexually assaulted the bride the night before her wedding.
Sandals, in its statement, said that in reference to Mrs Pascarella, the allegations present a ‘self-serving, one-sided and incomplete version of an incident reported in 2016.’
“Sandals intends to vigorously defend itself in court against these one-sided allegations and looks forward to presenting the full picture of all the facts and circumstances surrounding this reported incident from 2016 within the appropriate legal forum,” the statement said.
The Pascarellas’ are seeking US$30 million in a lawsuit filed in the New York Supreme Court.
Moral Adderley, the butler accused in the Pascarellas case, said during an interview recently that he merely gave the woman a hug at her request.
Adderley said although he had won many awards for being an outstanding employee at Sandals, he was fired by the resort who took the word of its guest over a star employee.