A teenage hostess at the now-notorious Presidents Club dinner where staff were groped and harassed says she was offered £75,000 to have sex with an elderly businessman.
The 19-year-old was one of more than 100 women brought in to pour drinks and chat to the all-male guests at London’s Dorchester Hotel last Thursday.
But she says she will not be working at the ‘scary’ event again after being treated like a prostitute by one of the businessmen who attended the raucous evening.
A 19-year-old hostess who worked at the Presidents Club dinner says an elderly man treated her like a prostitute and offered £75,000 for sex
The woman said the man tried to spoon feed her chocolate desert at the notorious event
The woman, who asked not to be named, told the Daily Mirror: ‘An old man in his 70s beckoned me over and said: “I will offer you £50,000 for sex”. When I said I no, he said: “OK then, £75,000”.
‘He assumed I was a prostitute. I told him my age and he said, “My youngest daughter’s older than you – I like that you’re young”.’
She said the ‘creepiest thing’ which happened to her was when another man tried to spoon-feed her a chocolate dessert.
She spent the last hour of the event hiding in the toilet as fellow hostesses were groped at an after-party, she said.
The woman was paid £150 for the evening’s work, as well as £20 for travel, and was told to sign a non-disclosure order, the use of which has been questioned by Prime Minster in response to the scandal.
Following the disclosures about the event in the Financial Times, charities and businesses sought to dissociate themselves from the Presidents Club, which closed down this week.
A number of charities, including Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, that have benefited from the £20 million raised by the Presidents Club over more than 30 years said they will now refund previous donations.
The lavish dinner has led to calls for a police investigation and to changes in the law on non disclosure agreements for events staff
MPs Sir Vince Cable, Jo Swinson and Jess Phillips urged police to investigate ‘serious and potentially criminal’ behaviour, including allegations of pimping and sexual assault of the 140 women working at the event last Thursday.
Businessman David Meller quit his roles at the Department for Education and the Mayor’s Fund for London over his involvement in organising the event, as trustee of the Presidents Club.
After it emerged that the auction included lunch with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and tea with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, the Bank and the Foreign Office made clear that neither man had known about it and would not be honouring the engagements.
Jeremy Corbyn asked Lord Jonathan Mendelsohn to ‘step back’ from his role as shadow business and international trade spokesman in the upper chamber after he attended the men-only charity event where hostesses were allegedly groped and sexually harassed.
The Labour leader’s move will increase pressure on Theresa May to act against Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi, who also attended the dinner.
There is no suggestion that any of the men named here were directly involved in any of the incidents described.
The Presidents Club hired 130 women as hostesses at the annual black-tie fundraiser, which was held at The Dorchester hotel in Mayfair last Thursday (pictured in 2012)
Presidents Club trustee David Meller (left) has stood down from the educational trust that he ran. Lord Jonathan Mendelsohn (right), who was at the event, was asked to stand down from his role in the House of Lords
Theresa May has said she was ‘appalled’ by reports of the events at the dinner at London’s prestigious Dorchester Hotel.
According to the FT, the hostesses at the event were told to wear skimpy black dresses, black underwear and ‘sexy’ black shoes.
Reporter Madison Marriage, who went undercover as part of the paper’s investigation, said she was groped several times and other hostesses had suffered similar treatment.
The Charity Commission said it was looking into the allegations ‘as a matter of urgency’.
The Dorchester Hotel said it was not aware of any claims following the event and an investigation had been launched.
A spokesman for the Artista agency, which recruited the hostesses, said it was not aware of any claims of sexual harassment but that any complaints would be dealt with promptly and fairly.