This weekend millions will come to New York City to celebrate Gay Pride. It will also mark two weeks since Jamie Ranieri and her friend reported they were harassed by two men who spat out homophobic slurs and later attacked the nightlife personality and her gay friend. Now, Ranieri is proud to be standing up against YOTEL New York since the futuristic hotel’s management refuses to issue an apology for the incident and the way it was handled. GaySocialites.com spoke with her exclusively in this follow-up.
The night of the incident, Jamie says she turned to YOTEL’s bar staff for help as two bullies started to gay bash her friend. She says the bartender seemingly left her to deal with the incident on her own. She told us that security didn’t intervene until one of the men grabbed her by the neck and the other attacked her gay friend. We also spoke exclusively to YOTEL New York’s Director of Operations, Geoffery Mills, who says that the bar staff acted properly and called upon security when Ranieri requested. He even acknowledged that mistakes were made. Mills and YOTEL won’t , however, apology.
Following a meeting with Mills and other YOTEL managers, Ranieri says she emerged with nothing more than an offer for a comped bar tab.
“[YOTEL Management] offered myself and [the]victim to come by anytime,” Jamie explained. “…and they will take care of the tab.” Ranieri, however, says she wants a public apology… not some free drinks.
Jamie’s response: “Thank you, but I won’t be coming back to YOTEL ever”.
GaySocialites.com contacted Mr. Mills with one question, “Why not just issue an apology?” To which he replied:
Thank you for reaching out. I did have a very nice two hour conversation and meeting with both Jamie and the victim last Friday. I did feel we had a good understanding after that meeting.
As this incident is still under investigation with law enforcement with our full support, we appreciate your understanding in our wish to hold any further communication until the investigation has been completed.
All Ranieri and her friend wanted was an apology for the way things were handled. Instead, however, Jamie was once again left to handle things on her own.
She reached out to the Anti-Violence Project (AVP) for assistance. That organization has since conducted outreach in the area including pop-ins to educate YOTEL staff about ways to properly handle a bias crime should one occur at the hotel again. Ranieri also tell us that an investigation with the NYPD Hate Crimes Division continues.
GaySocialites.com will continue to follow this situation, and we will keep you updated.