In his sex dungeon, George Soros’ right-hand man was accused of BDSM crimes.
Howard Rubin appeared to have it all as a high-earning money manager — including for the Soros Fund. There was the multimillion-dollar Upper East Side co-op, as well as a $9 million Hamptons waterfront estate. Rubin and his wife, Mary, were well-known on the city’s philanthropy circuit; between 2015 and 2016, the couple contributed nearly $500,000 to charitable causes such as the New York Junior League and Hope for a Cure.
However, he concealed another real estate holding: an opulent Madison Avenue penthouse decorated with blow-up photos of Playboy models and, apparently, all manner of BDSM memorabilia.
Rubin, now 66, is accused of committing violent acts and sexual assault against a number of women, including former Playboy playmates. A civil trial is scheduled for November, with six of his seven alleged victims seeking at least $18 million in damages.
Among other things, Rubin has been accused of “beating a woman’s breasts so badly that her right implant flipped” — an injury so severe that her “plastic surgeon was not even willing to operate on her breasts,” according to court documents.
He is alleged to have paid up to $5,000 per BDSM session to his partners. However, the women assert that they did not consent to the extent of Rubin’s abuse and degradation.
According to one of the plaintiffs, while she was bound and vulnerable in Rubin’s lair, he told her, “I’m going to rape you like I rape my daughter,” and then forced sex on her against her will. (Rubin and his estranged wife have three children, including at least one daughter.)
Rubin’s attorney made no comment.
Although the first allegations against the disgraced financier were made in November 2017, his wife of 36 years, fellow Wall Streeter and Harvard MBA Mary Henry, filed for divorce only on July 7.
“How much can a wife take?” inquired a Merrill Lynch executive who worked alongside Mary.
“I thought he was a pleasant person. He was a nebbishy Jewish gentleman who was completely normal. I was surprised to learn that he had that apartment [complete with a sex dungeon],” said a trader who worked with Rubin at George Soros’s Soros Fund Management.
And, while Rubin’s colleagues may be taken aback by his outlandish preferences, some speculate that “Howie,” as he was known on Wall Street, may have been out of control at work as well.
“I witnessed him hurl a chair across the trading floor,” one former coworker told The Post. “He replied, ‘F–k. I just lost $50 million!’ and slammed his computer with a chair. He then returned and threw it a second time, this time even harder. That encapsulates Howie: He is high strung, aggressive, and does not conceal his emotions. He was a trader whose ego was entwined with his status as Wall Street’s biggest swinging dick.”
Howard Rubin grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where his father worked as an analyst for Polaroid. He graduated from Lafayette College with a degree in chemical engineering. However, following graduation, he left the corporate world for a stint as a Vegas card counter. Rubin turned $3,000 into $80,000 over the course of two years.
He then earned an MBA from Harvard and shifted his focus to Wall Street, where he began working in 1983 for Salomon Brothers. As Michael Lewis notes in “Liar’s Poker,” Rubin believed that “the trading floor at Salomon Brothers felt like a Las Vegas casino.” You placed your wagers and managed risk amidst a thousand distractions.” He quickly established a reputation as a moneymaker, earning $55 million for Salomon in his first two years.
Rubin married financial advisor Mary Henry in 1985 while still working at Salomon. Rubin appeared to be a typical well-to-do Manhattanite making his way up the Wall Street ladder. The duo is captured in a society photograph swanning through a ritzy 2013 benefit at the Pierre Hotel.
A source who worked on the couple’s Hamptons estate — one blog lauded the garden’s “Monet-like effect” — stated that they never encountered Rubin’s rough side. “They’re wonderful people,” the source said of Rubin and Mary. “I’ve known them for over a decade. They have always acted with integrity.”
Rubin’s soaring life came crashing down in November 2017. That is when the first allegations against him were made by three Florida women — Mia Lytell and Amy Moore, both of whom were described in the suit as Playboy Playmates, and Stephanie Caldwell, who was described in the suit as a model and dancer who worked at the 24/7 Miami strip-club E11even.
They charge Rubin with assault, battery, and human trafficking. “In summary, they allege that they were brought to New York and exploited,” women’s attorney John Balestriere told The Post. “Allegations boil down to [the women] asserting that they were subjected to physical and sexual abuse.”
The suit alleges that Rubin induced one woman’s “drug addiction” and paints a bleak picture of his interactions with six S&M partners. (Four additional plaintiffs joined the lawsuit. Caldwell withdrew from the suit for unknown reasons, and another woman, Julie Parker, has filed her own suit against Rubin.)
According to reports, the hired women ended up in Rubin’s dungeon, which features red walls and a white carpet. Sex toys were alphabetized, and an X-shaped “St. Andrews cross” — a device used to restrain submissives spread-eagle at the wrists, ankles, and waist — was displayed prominently.
According to the initial lawsuit, while Lytell and Moore believed Rubin intended to engage in “some mild fetish games and possibly take photographs,” neither anticipated being restrained in this manner [bound with rope and tape and gagged] or being physically beaten.
According to a motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of Rubin by lawyer Edward McDonald, the women signed strict non-disclosure agreements with minimum fines of at least $500,000 if violated, as well as acknowledgement that they were consenting to and being compensated for violent sex with a risk of injury.
The women were given insufficient time to review the agreements. “They did not have attorneys on call,” Balestriere stated.
At least some instances, when the women “screamed or protested [during a session], Rubin would simply become more violent.”
Lytell asserts that he was smacked on the back of the head. Due to the fact that Lytell was “restraint” and “in and out of consciousness,” Lytell is unsure whether Rubin penetrated her with an object or if it was Rubin himself.
“A number of our clients have stated that they were unable to speak or leave,” Balestriere told The Post.
Balestriere added: “Our clients allege that they were misled and lied to and were victims of physical and sexual violence.” While acknowledging that the women were all paid and that “nobody is claiming a gun was put to their heads to come to New York,”
Rubin is rumored to have ceased renting the penthouse. “Some [sexual implements] are stored, while others are discarded,” a source told The Post. “Howie saved some of the stuff” — according to a court document, the dungeon contained vaginal clamps and an electrical device with which “Rubin shocked [Amy] Moore repeatedly” — “so he doesn’t get accused of disposing of evidence.”
Rubin has vehemently denied the allegations in the case. According to Rubin’s motion, he texted Lytell to ensure that she understood what he was up to — and that it would be painful.
“Do you [understand] what you are getting yourself into?” the text reads, according to court documents. “It is a complete BDSM. The majority of females adore it and return for more. However, I prefer to be candid about everything.”
Rubin denies allegations of drug use in the motion. “He was not providing drugs to the girls — except possibly painkillers during the encounters [which were painful],” an insider told The Post on condition of anonymity. “If they had [other] drugs, they were not supplied by Howie.”
According to Rubin’s summary judgment motion, Emma Hopper, an Atlanta model and student who was compensated for her participation in the S&M sessions, texted a Rubin associate throughout the litigation. Hopper allegedly wrote that she was “so concerned about everyone” and wondered, “Is this going to prevent Howie from seeing us?”
A November 2017 text message, which was included in Rubin’s motion as being sent by Hopper to Rubin’s assistant, reads: “If y’all need me to do anything to assist, such as testify that we agreed to everything happening, I will.”
Around the same time, according to the motion, Hopper asked Rubin to pay for a trip to Los Angeles and a car. He asserts that he declined. On Feb. 20, 2018, Hopper filed a lawsuit against him. According to an amended statement filed by Rubin’s attorney, Hopper later “texted Rubin a photo of herself wearing a schoolgirl outfit with her breasts exposed” and “‘I’m your little school girl slut for life.'”
“[Hopper] prevailed against Mr. Rubin’s attempt… to have her case dismissed,” Balestriere stated in the text.
Balestriere continued, “None of these women came to New York knowing they would be physically and sexually abused.” They did not consent to what transpired. The critical point is that Mr. Rubin stated that these individuals consented to the physical and sexual abuse they endured. Our six clients assert that they never consented… ”
According to a former executive at Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital Markets, where Rubin worked from 1985 to 1987, this is not the first time the disgraced financier has demonstrated his shadowy side — noting that while at Merrill, Rubin made an unauthorized trade that resulted in a widely publicized $250 million loss for the firm and resulted in his termination.