- More than 180 people have accused Massage Envy massage therapists of sexual assault, BuzzFeed reports.
- Since the bombshell report, more women have come forward with allegations of abuse.
- A lawyer said he received more than 25 calls from women who say they were similarly assaulted after BuzzFeed’s report.
More people are claiming abuse at the hands of Massage Envy massage therapists following a bombshell report.
On Monday, BuzzFeed News reported that more than 180 people had filed sexual assault lawsuits, police reports, and state board complaints against Massage Envy and its employees.
Troublingly, BuzzFeed reported that Massage Envy employees often brushed off customers’ reports of sexual assault. In fact, Baker reported that in more than one instance, Massage Envy continued to employ massage therapists who had been accused of sexual assault.
Since Monday, women have reported more instances of alleged assault at the spa.
A lawyer who has handled more than two dozen of the cases against Massage Envy told the Associated Press on Monday that he received 25 calls from other people who said they were assaulted at the massage chain after BuzzFeed’s report went live.
Other women are speaking out online, on Facebook and in comments of articles on Massage Envy allegations.
One woman said she had never previously reported an assault in 2016:
“The massage therapist made me extremely uncomfortable, touching and kneading areas like the side boob area that shouldn’t have even been touched. After 20 minutes I was forced to stop the massage because I felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin. I left in tears after speaking to the manager. My assumption was something was going to be done. Nothing was done as I would call periodically throughout the next year to see if he was still employed at that location and was told yes.
I didn’t return to that location for a year. I only went back when I learned he was no longer at that location. Turns out he was away ‘in training’.”
An alleged victim from Oklahoma posted:
“I am one of the 180 women that was assaulted at Massage Envy. My assailant is an MMA fighter who has a record in CA for domestic abuse. Even though he had a documented criminal record which could be easily obtained by a simple background check, Massage Envy still hired him to perform massages on a mostly female clientele. I am one of the lucky ones. After a struggle, during which my left shoulder was dislocated, I began to sob hysterically and he let me go … Once I got up the nerve to come forward Massage Envy did nothing. Nothing.”
One woman wrote on Facebook:
“I was touched inappropriately on my breasts at the Massage Envy in Buckhead. I reported to the manager who said that they are not supposed to touch anyone in that area and assured me that she would handle the situation. I also spoke with a female therapist who said that the same man was administering a massage and the woman screamed as he was touching her inappropriately and she called the police who came and did not arrest the scumbag. I believe that the man is still there… Karma sucks.”
Another woman said she wasn’t assaulted, but that her concerns were ignored:
“I had a terrible experience there a couple of years ago. My massage therapist at the University Pkwy location was totally creepy and inappropriate. I reported him to management and not only did they brush me off but refused to cancel my membership. He had a criminal record for assault and all they would do is make sure I had another therapist.”
For Massage Envy’s part, the company told Business Insider in a statement that it “will never stop looking for ways to help our franchisees provide a safe environment at Massage Envy franchise locations.”
“The article references 180 reported incidents,” the statement continued. “These occurred over a span of 15 plus years and 125 million massages. But, we believe that even ONE incident is too many, so we are constantly listening, learning, and evaluating how we can continue to strengthen our policies with respect to handling of these issues.”
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