Promoter of Gay Nightlife Michael J. Cohen is Charged With Sexual Misconduct 

It was reported on Thursday by sources that Michael J. Cohen, a gay nightlife entrepreneur in New York City, has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple young queer males. These include “accusations that he groped or pressured men to have sex or send nude photos, as well as a claim of sexual assault,” according to sources.

In 2020, Cohen launched a gay bar called Motel 23 in Manhattan, and he has also organized events at other clubs. After an anonymous Instagram account detailing events at Motel 23 appeared online in July, sources began investigating.

Charles Battersby is one of many who have accused Cohen of inappropriately touching him in the genital and buttock areas at parties that Cohen held at Goldbar. Battersby claims that the incidents first started happening to him in 2015.

Modelling while in college, Stephen Carlstrom claims that in 2017 Cohen offered him money to attend parties in exchange for oral sex. Carlstrom claimed he was pressured into accepting the position, but the promised job never materialized.

“It just felt extremely predatory and manipulative afterward,” Carlstrom told. “I definitely wouldn’t have done that if he didn’t talk me into it.” None of the accusations went to the police, but several others spoke to NBC anonymously.

Some of the men who had just come out stated they thought this sort of thing was commonplace in the community, while others, notably the younger ones, said they saw it as the price of entry to swanky parties. Some even showed screenshots of sexual texts Cohen sent them, and their pals confirmed their stories.

After declining an interview request from sources, Cohen’s spokeswoman Alafair Hall wrote the following email to the network: “Mr Cohen absolutely denies allegations that he groped, sexually assaulted, forcibly kissed, or demanded sex from anyone.” In his years of hosting parties, Mr Cohen has never engaged in any sexual activity that was not unmistakably consensual. He takes these allegations seriously.”

As for the text messages, Hall informed sources Cohen is “a proud gay man with no shame about his activity on social media, where he has asked adult men to send him sexual pictures, including those of their genitals. But he has never pressured men to have sex.”

Celebrities including Olympic diver Tom Daley, actor Neil Patrick Harris, and artist Lil Nas X were regulars at Cohen’s parties. No one was willing to talk to sources, though. Also investing in Motel 23 was Bryan Singer, a film director who has faced multiple allegations of sexual assault.

The Instagram account’s anonymous creator said that he made the account after being turned away from a pub because of his friend’s race and was told that his friend would have to pay $250 to get in. A number of other customers also complained that the staff favoured white men over women and persons of colour.

Anonymous actor claims that in 2006 when Cohen was working as a talent manager in Los Angeles, he leapt on him and kissed him aggressively. Mean Girls and Looking star Daniel Franzese were also one of Cohen’s clients, although the actor later said of him, “I don’t recommend working with him,” and denied further comment to sources.

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