Paradise lost

Explosive allegations made against one of Fire Island’s most popular hotspots

Two young men are blowing the whistle on one of Fire Island’s most popular destinations, accusing management of sexual harassment.

22-year-olds Joe Rapuano-Novella and Dylan Pace allege they were subjected to “a series of dark harassments and assaults” at the hands of their boss, Outpost Pines manager Mario Priola.

In a shocking new interview with the New York Post, Rapuano-Novella talks about how Priola’s “relentless” sexual overtures eventually drove him to quit his job at the Fire Island hotspot.

Related: What goes on during a gay cruise? This sexy new documentary reveals all

Looking back, he says the problem began during the interview process. According to the lawsuit, Rapuano-Novella was “hired on the spot” in the middle of a bizarre Skype interview during which Priola asked him to remove his shirt on camera.

Meanwhile, Pace was asked to report for his interview in Priola’s hot tub, the suit alleges.

After Rapuano-Novella was hired but before he began working, Priola allegedly sent him “inappropriate texts,” telling him “you’re perfect” and asking him to send nude photos. Once he started the job, Rapuano-Novella claims his boss repeatedly asked him to sleep over and “groped his penis.”

In addition, Rapuano-Novella claims he was forced to promote live sex shows, which was never discussed as a part of his job description prior to starting employment.

When he brought his concerns HR, he was told, “there’s nothing they could do.” Even after he showed them the text messages asking for nude photos, and another suggesting “sexual payment,” nothing was ever done.

Until now.

In a Facebook post, Rapuano-Novella says, “As I sailed away from the island, I knew I could either live with this experience, or fight like hell on behalf of our community to make sure it stops. I’m using my voice.”

The men’s attorney, Paul Liggieri, tells the Post: “The defendants were pulling a ‘Weinstein’ on Fire Island and now I wonder how many more young men will come forward to say #metoo.”

Priola’s attorney, A.G. Chancellor III, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Related: Fire Island explosion: Massive five destroyed 4 homes, injured firefighters

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19 Comments

  • Stache

    Let me get this straight. The interviewer had you send nude photos and the interview was done in a hot tub. Now your suing for sexual harassment. You poor things. Lol

    • AndThenTheresMax

      What Stache said! An interview in a hot tub?! Really?! Now it’s sexual harassment?

    • salex

      NOW WE KNOW THAT THINKS LIKE THIS DON’T HAPPEN IN THE PINES. IN THE GROVE, PERHAPS!

    • WeHoGuy69

      Now we’re blaming the victim?!

      “Rapuano-Novella charges in the suit that Priola repeatedly asked him to sleep over and ‘groped his penis.’”

      Sounds like classic sexual harassment to me.

    • dinard38

      WeHoGuy69 in this case, HELL YEAH I’m blaming the ‘victim’. Geez, how dumb can you be to not see where this was heading. The warning signs were clear BEFORE he started working there.

  • Gates

    I bartended at many gay bars in Miami and Lauderdale in the 90s, and was always sexually harassed by the owners and managers, it was common place and expected. Being asked to send dic pics for a job should have been a red flag, don’t ya think?

  • mhoffman953

    It’s been several days now, I wonder when Queerty is going to report the sexual abuse allegations against George Takei

    • Stache

      One incident a long time ago and some drunk queen losing her panties is hardly worth the news.

  • StupidBoy

    Fire Island has been infamous for the gay elite to vacation at and have rent boys for decades. This is a non-story. My god, there is a Wikipedia article on it nowadays and there have been dozens of books and essays written about the debauchery from the elite toward their hired staff their for years. FFS, you didn’t apply at Sears and your boss groped you in the stock room.

  • yaletownman

    When a person takes a job that is sexually oriented say like a stripper, go-go boy, porn actor, etc. what are the legal boundaries? Is part of the job description that they are supposed to act in a sexually enticing way or actually be sexual for customers and be tolerant of what customers may say and propose but the management and co-workers are off limits? I’m all for people being protected from harassment but let’s get real, some of these jobs are about the employing being sexual for pay so where does that play in?

  • chris33133

    I guess these young men thought that they were being hired merely to engage in some harmless flirting with the site’s patrons. Not that sexual harassment should be understood as “coming with the territory” of certain jobs; but the owner’s reputations as demanding sexual favors was not built on sand. I admit that I’m torn between wanting to side with the alleged victims (harassment is NOT acceptable) and being incredulous at their feigned naivete.

  • DCguy

    Interesting that the anti-LGBT trolls all keep trying to deflect from any story by saying “What about the allegations against George Takei!?”

    So in other words, they want Queerty to ignore the fact that the most notorious anti-lgbt judge in the country, who is now running for Senate., a judge who broke the Constitution and was removed from office for saying that the Supreme Court doesn’t have authority over other judges, ALL TO KEEP BIGOTRY LEGAL….AND who 5 women have now come out to accuse, WITH PROOF, is somehow less relevant than an accusation against George Takei who isn’t running for office, isn’t head of a studio, etc…

    Sorry Trolls, your “What-About-Ism” is just sad at this point.

    • Stache

      Not to mention the guy was an adult and admitted to being drunk. Jeez. How many of those stories do we all have.

    • mhoffman953

      @DCguy

      The above story has nothing to do with the whacko judge from Alabama, plus we’ve had about 2 stories every day on here about him.

      I’m just wondering why Queerty covered Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, and even this story about Fire Island but haven’t covered George Takei

  • IWantAFullBeard

    Frankly, I’d be offended if someone didn’t sexually harass me at a gay bar in Fire Island.

    • ham

      Ditto

  • Knight

    If a guy gets a job as a cleaner or cashier at a bath-house, I guess we can all just assume he is fair-game for any/all sexual advances by the owners….right? Just like if someone walks into a gay bar, they just have to assume that guys are going to grope them/grab them in the crotch or ass. That’s just what you sign up for being around gay people, right?

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