LAPD Cop & Ex-Bodyguard Claims Elton John Sexually Harassed Him
Singer Elton John is being sued by his former bodyguard—who once won a medal as a police officer for rescuing senior citizens from a burning building—for sexual harassment. When Jeffrey Wenninger was off-duty from the LAPD, he worked as a body guard for musician Elton John from 2002 to 2014, according to the L.A. Times. Wenninger filed a lawsuit Monday accusing John of repeatedly making lewd comments and touching him inappropriately.
The suit claims that in March of 2014, John and Wenninger were passengers in John's car, headed from John's home to an aviation company in Van Nuys. During the trip, Wenninger said that John attempted to put his hand down Wenninger's pants, groped his genitals and tried to force his hand between his buttocks while saying things like, "Get your todger out," and "Say hello to Uncle Elton." The suit claims that this happened again in April, once again while the two were passengers in a car. This time, the suit alleges that John slipped his hand down Wenninger's shirt and touched his nipples while saying, "You have so many gay genes in you, they just haven't met up yet." Then, four days later, on a similar car trip, the suit accuses John of once again trying to force his hands into Wenninger's pants.
The suit claims that these were not the only advances John made, but that the incidents escalated after 2010, and that Wenninger's attempts to deflect the behavior did not diminish it. The suit says that Wenninger sustained "severe and ongoing physical and emotional damage" due to the alleged harassment.
Wenninger also claims that he was wrongfully fired from that gig after reporting another officer for overtime theft, according to The Guardian. He is seeking unspecified damages.
Orin Snyder, a lawyer for John's Rocket Entertainment Group, said that the allegations are false in a statement to the Times:
This baseless lawsuit is brought by a disgruntled former security officer seeking to extract an undeserved payment. These claims are patently untrue and contradicted by numerous previous statements made by this plaintiff. We will not give into his latest abuse of the legal system.
Wenninger received the LAPD Medal of Valor in 2007 when he was a sergeant on the force for repeatedly going into a burning building with his partner and saving several senior residents in 1996. It's not clear if Wenninger still works for the LAPD. He was most recently listed as a captain, but the Times was unable to confirm his current status with the LAPD.