Airbnb ‘paid tourist £ 5million’ after ‘holiday rape with a knife’
Airbnb reportedly paid an Australian tourist $ 7million (£ 5million) after she was allegedly stabbed in a rented New York apartment on New Years Eve in 2015.
The alleged culprit, Junior Lee, 24, who denies predatory sexual assault charges, allegedly made copies of the keys and hid them in the bathroom before the attack.
Airbnb’s key policy has remained unchanged since the attack with owners encouraged – via a discount – but not forced to change locks between rentals or use coded keyboards.
According to Bloomberg News, the woman signed an agreement not to talk about the settlement or to hold the company or the host accountable.
However, Airbnb denied that it sought to block the woman from speaking out.
“In cases of sexual assault, in the settlements we have reached, survivors can speak freely about their experiences. This includes the New York case,” a spokesperson said.
“We proactively contacted the New York Police Department after the attack to offer our assistance with their investigation, and we helped them get her into a hotel.
“The priority for our company and our leaders was to support the survivor and do good to someone who had suffered a trauma.”
Airbnb also offered to pay for advice and brought the survivor’s mother from Australia to New York.
The company performs online background checks – including criminal record checks – of potential owners.
He also called for a nationwide registration system for potential owners, which would require them to be approved by a public body before advertising on accommodation booking sites.
Airbnb, which was founded in 2008 by students Chesky and Joe Gebbia and engineer Nate Blecharczyk, has grown into one of the world’s largest travel accommodation companies.
With more than 5.6 million listings, it has more rooms than the top seven hotel companies combined.
Its share price more than doubled when the company launched on Wall Street, bringing the company’s value to over $ 100 billion (£ 70 billion).