The cocktail community in LA is a tight knit group. I entered the scene about 4 years ago thanks to a close friend at the time. We went to one bar specifically and I was taught the tricks and trades of the cocktail world and introduced to absolutely everyone. I frequented this bar and others in the same company and branching out from there. My roommate at the time worked at this bar so I always had a reason to go and hang out. Eventually, I started to make friends with a lot of the people that worked there and a lot of their friends that would come in and hang out as well. I had made good friendships, some I still hold on to today.
I was always told from the start that there are people you need to know in the cocktail world; Alex was one of them. I heard praises and legendary stories about this man, so as you can assume the day I finally met him was a big deal for me. As time went on, I developed a friendship with him. In my eyes, he was that guy that would mentor and teach you, and help grow your career in hospitality. As we became closer, he became more comfortable with me and I with him. He would drink to the point of belligerency and start to make advances on me verbally. I thought at first it was weird, maybe he was just drunk. Soon, every time I saw him, drink in his hand, his conversations with me were no longer appropriate in any way. He would describe in detail all the ways he was going to “take me home and fuck me”, that because I was so tiny, he’d be able to pick me up and take me however he wanted me. Again, this was starting to become a normal thing with him so I passed it off as, “oh this must just be Alex.”
About a year and a half ago, I found out he was partnering to open EP & LP. I was looking for a new job in management and wanted to move away from hotels and venture into the bar/restaurant scene. I ran into him at the bar shortly after I found this out and went up to him to chat about it. After all, I still had in my mind that Alex is the one you’ve got to know to advance. The conversation was innocent to start. We sat outside on the smoking patio and drank whisky. I had just come from work so I was wearing a dress with tights. I sat on the bench facing him with one leg on the bench and the other on the ground. I was asking questions about the new spot and then finally asked if I could get in touch with anyone in management there or if he could put in a good word. At this moment, I got the look from him like he would give when saying vulgar things to me. He took his hand and held down my leg that was on the bench so I could not move. He said that he would reach out to someone about the job if he could take me home and fuck me, as he did this, with his other hand he reached under my dress and grabbed me. He was using so much pressure; he was trying to finger me. I couldn’t move and I was completely speechless and shocked. Here I was in a public place, with Alex, who everyone knows, and I had never felt more scared for my safety. How would any one even believe me or even think that he would do that? Eventually, he let go of me and he said he’d send an email to his business partner. I left immediately and went home, took a shower and went straight to bed. In the late morning the next day, I received an email, from Alex, with some one else copied. Alex did what he said he’d do. He reached out and put in a reference for me about a management job there. I felt so gross, so dirty, and so shameful in that moment. I received no response from the other man.
I never thought for a minute that I was sexually assaulted. Alex was a friend, he was a mentor, he had this great reputation in LA, people looked up to him. His inappropriate conversations and non-consensual touching was just Alex, that’s what he does.
A friend reached out to me saying that a few women had come forward about him assaulting them after he had posted an apology on Facebook. She mentioned that as these girls were upset and that they were getting together to bring light to whom he actually is. She said my name came up in a conversation and that I might be a victim. Immediately my stomach dropped, and I started crying. That night, a year and a half ago, came flooding back in to my mind like it had just happened. I had repressed it for so long because it was disgusting and I never wanted to remember it. I’ve now had to relive this night constantly over the last week.
There are now 15 women and probably more who are reliving their assaults because of him. We were friends, we all trusted him. We all looked up to him, lots of these ladies worked with him directly. Never once did I even think I was sexually assaulted until my friend told me. I have now realized I was a victim. Alex assaulted me.
The culture and world we live in now allows these things to happen. Cases like Brock Turner make it easy for women to seem at fault, like they brought it on themselves. Not once did I ask for Alex to grab me. Not once did I ask Alex to “take me home and fuck me.” Not once did any of these girls ask him to do what he did. He did it on his own how he wanted to. He’s manipulative and he is a predator. People need to know about him and women need to know about assailants like him before they become a victim as well.