Lifestyle & Belief

Former NY banker suing Starwood over alleged sex assault by drunk man in hotel room


Another (former) Starwood hotel — legendary five-star Le Crillon, in Paris.



A former New York investment banker who says she was sexually assaulted in her hotel suite after a front desk clerk gave a drunk man who claimed to be her husband the room key is suing Starwood Hotels chain.

Alison Fournier said she left her job after the Jan. 15 assault in Helsinki, Finland, and moved from New York to Florida to be near her family, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"To this day, I still suffer from the memories of that night, and I am not able to put it behind me," Fournier said at a Manhattan news conference.

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Fournier is being represented by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who stood in a nationally TV news conference in November with Sharon Bialek, a Chicago-area woman accusing former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain of forcing himself on her.

According to the Huffington Post, she also represented Nicandra Diaz-Santillan, the undocumented maid of Republican California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman; Ginger Lee, one of former Rep. Anthony Weiner's sexting partners; and Gigi Jeffers, a woman who claimed to have had an affair with former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Fournier's suit, cited by ABC News, says that the "visibly intoxicated" man entered her room at the Hotel Kamp, operated by Starwood Hotels, at 4 a.m., undressed, slipped into her bed, and proceeded to grope her naked body.

Terrified that she was going to be raped, Fournier — then aged 30 — grabbed a bathrobe and fled.

Allred said the alleged assailant was an American staying at the hotel who had come on to Fournier earlier but been rebuffed, Reuters reported.

Fournier went public with her lawsuit hoping to "warn other women who may be traveling alone of the danger that they may face."

"The one place that they may feel safe [their hotel room] may in fact be the most dangerous place of all if their hotel fails to act responsibly to protect their guests," Allred reportedly said.

Fournier claims she specifically chose a Starwood hotel because of the company's reputation. 

"I don't want this to happen again to any woman traveling for her career," Fournier reportedly said.

Starwoods Hotels and Resorts, in a statement given to ABC News, said it was investigating the incident:

"The safety and security of our guests is our first and foremost priority. It is company-wide policy to ensure proper identification is shown and verified before distributing a key to a registered guest's room."