'Drink-spike' club owner blasted for ‘half-arsed’ apology
A Perth nightclub owner has been called out for his "half-arsed" apology after launching a stunning attack against a teenage girl who allegedly had her drink spiked at his venue.
The owner of Rapture Nightclub, 66-year-old Neil Scott, came under fire for the way he responded when 19-year-old Shantel Smith claimed she was drugged in the club.
Mr Scott questioned the girl's claims, describing her as a "plain Jane" who made the story up for attention.
"She's not a particularly attractive girl," he told The West Australian.
"It's just implausible to imagine that she had her drink spiked, it just doesn't sort of add up.
"She's just a very plain Jane type of girl. I can't understand why anybody would be possessed by her."
Mr Scott came under fire for his repeated attacks against Ms Smith and now he has started to backtrack on his comments.
In a statement posted to the Rapture Nightclub Facebook page, the owner claims the club is "legendary" for how it cares for its customers and its safe service of alcohol.
"So when I received a complaint that not only had there been a drink spiked in my club and the person had been throwing up in the female toilets for two and a half hours, but that two of her friends had also been drink spiked recently at Rapture, I could not believe the story," Mr Scott wrote.
"None of my staff had heard of any such incidents, the Approved Manager had regularly inspected the toilets and not seen anyone sick and the Crowd Controllers knew nothing."
He described Ms Smith's complaint as a "take-down" of the club and claimed CCTV showed no signs that she had been spiked.
"The video showed the girl leaving the club in jovial spirits and she stayed in front of the club showing no signs of drink spiking or sickness. I got upset and sent a terse reply, calling her out in a sarcastic and demeaning way, which I regret. It was beneath my dignity," he wrote.
"I am sorry. I should have swallowed my disbelief and not let emotion rule my head.
"The nightclub has a good reputation for great music and lighting, excellent service, cleanliness and great staff. It employs 15 to 20 people and I made a mistake. Sorry."
Mr Scott then advised anyone who suspects that their drink has been spiked to tell staff immediately.
The Facebook post received more than a thousand comments, with many calling the owner out for his "half-arsed" apology.
"Sorry but after you said this I lost any respect, you don't have to be super attractive to have your drink spiked for someone to try and take advantage of you," one user said.
"Honestly, this is the worst, most half-arsed attempt at an apology that I've ever seen, it's not genuine and it's only because your response made it to the light of day and now you are trying to prevent the crumbling of your venue, simple damage control," another wrote.
The post was only up for a few hours before being deleted.
RESPONSE WENT VIRAL
After the alleged spiking Ms Smith sent a message to notify staff at the club and shared the dismissive response she received on social media.
Miss Smith told Nine News she woke up in a "toilet stall. There was vomit everywhere and I was foaming at the mouth."
"I just couldn't believe I was being blamed for something that happened to me without my knowledge," she said about the furore that followed her Instagram post.
But Mr Scott doubled down and said: "Lets face it, why would somebody spike her drink? Why would they do that? What are they hoping to get? What is she hoping to get from it? I don't know if she thinks she's special enough to be spiked, I don't know if that's how it works."
Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident.
He also posted CCTV of Ms Smith outside the club, in which he described her as the "large girl in the white top and short black skirt".
He noted she seemed in "good spirits" when leaving the club and did not seek assistance from staff.
In her Facebook messages, Ms Smith said she believed her drink was spiked at the club on Saturday.
"I only had 2 or 3 drinks before I came in so I definitely wasn't drunk, bought 1 drink from the bar and was then unconscious for the next 2.5 hours, vomiting & experiencing other common symptoms of a date rape drug," she said.
Ms Smith suggested the owner should increase the clubs security, noting she didn't see a single bouncer inside the club.
The screenshots allegedly show the manager of the nightclub doubting Ms Smith's claims that she was spiked while at the venue.
In the messages, the club owner asks a serious of questions including "What proof do you have of your drink being spiked?", "Why would anyone want to spike your drink?", "Would you like a crowd controller to hold you drink for you next time you attend a nightclub?" and "Are you worth someone trying to spike your drink?"
The respondent then goes on to say that no one would "be stupid enough to waste their drugs" spiking someone's drink.