Dave Portnoy, the Barstool Sports founder who was accused of sexual misconduct by Business Insider in an expose released last week, has denied all allegations against him and slammed the site for publishing “slanderous hit pieces.”
“Nothing like ‘journalists’ who write slanderous hit pieces, put it behind a paywall, use it as marketing to make money and then refuse to defend their work,” he wrote on Twitter on Monday after sharing an email exchange with Insider editor-in-chief Nicholas Carlson.
“There is clear evidence that refutes their ‘reporting’ that @businessinsider refuses to acknowledge,” Portnoy claimed. “Meanwhile I’m an open book.”
According to the emails shared, Portnoy invited Nicholas Carlson onto his podcast The Dave Portnoy Show to discuss the article, but the Insider head politely declined.
The Barstool Sports founder said that he would “make it as fair as possible,” despite vehemently denying the allegations and threatening to sue Insider for “malice” on social media.
“You can bring as many people as you’d like,” Portnoy wrote in the email. “You can also video/record the whole conversation and report for your own purposes.”
In Portnoy’s criticism of Insider‘s story, he claimed that the site is just looking for controversy to get traffic, especially since the article is behind their paywall. Insider, meanwhile, has stood firm.
In an emailed response, which Dave Portnoy then shared on social media. Insider editor-in-chief Nicholas Carlson declined, thanking him for the invitation and directing him to send all future correspondence to Mario Ruiz, their vice president of communications.
“We are going to let the story speak for itself,” he wrote.
Many Barstool Sports employees have since defended Dave Portnoy in surprising numbers. Dozens of writers took to social media to talk about their experiences with Portnoy, sharing how he has always been “honest” and “respectful.”
“After nearly 6 years knowing Dave Portnoy – hosting radio together, dozens of work trips, dinners, nights out – I’m constantly asked what he is really like,” said Sam Riggs Bozoian, a radio host at Barstool. “Dave is ALWAYS honest, ALWAYS tries to do the right thing, ALWAYS is respectful. A man I’m extremely proud to work with.”
Maria Ciuffo, host of the Barstool Sports podcast Chicks in the Office, wrote that “the word honest keeps getting thrown around but it is truly the best way to describe him and is something I’ve always respected and appreciated about having him as a boss.”
When a commenter said that “clearly an email went out for everyone to tweet their experience with Dave,” she responded writing that “Nobody has been told to do anything. This is just actually how we all feel about Dave.”
“In my time with him, he has been the most honest, upfront person I’ve ever done business with,” another Barstool employee claimed. “I have worked for a lot of people, I’ve never been more sure about someone’s character than Dave Portnoy. I believe and stand with Dave.”
In the Business Insider piece, two anonymous women shared stories of bizarre sexual experiences with Portnoy, which one described as akin to “being raped.”
Dave Portnoy, 43, allegedly filmed and refused to stop a sexual encounter with one 20-year-old woman, and was accused of having rough, uncomfortable sex with another high-school graduate.
The Barstool Sports founder did not deny the encounters, but called them “100 percent consensual.”
“At no point did she ask me to stop, at no point did either us think something unseemly happened,” he said. “There was no weirdness after. It was totally fine, normal interaction.”
Neither woman pressed charges about their experiences, and Portnoy said that he was never contacted by police.