Cure Lounge, the Boston nightclub that shut down a party for black alumni on Harvard-Yale weekend, citing concerns about “local gangbangers,” issued a public apology Friday and agreed to pay a $30,000 fine, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on Friday.
The fine is the result of a judgment filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Friday in Suffolk, Mass Supreme Court. The judgment ends a lawsuit against Paige Hospitality Inc, the owner of the club, which alleged that the club’s actions violated public accommodations and consumer protection laws.
“Massachusetts businesses cannot refuse to host events because of racial reasons,” Coakley said. “In this case, club staff made harmful and ill-conceived conclusions based on the simple fact that the guests were black.”
Harvard alumni organized the event, which was open to alumni and graduate students from both Harvard and Yale, and had sold out of the 400 tickets available. The party began at 10 p.m., and although there were no incidents inside or outside of the club, staff began turning guests away by 11:15.
In addition to the fine, Paige Hospitality will send its staff to annual anti-discrimination training.
Cure Lounge could not be immediately reached for comment
The apology — which will remain posted on the Cure website for 30 days — states that the club “does not tolerate racism.”
Cure also extended apologies for statements made on its behalf after the event by George Regan Jr., the chairman of a Boston public relations firm.
Regan denied any wrongdoing on the club’s behalf in an article published in the Nov. 27, 2010 Boston Globe.
“There were a lot of people in line known to police and police and security circles as bad people, OK? They probably couldn’t spell the word ‘Harvard,'” he said.
The Cure apology called those statements uninformed, and said that they did not reflect its owners’ or its employees’ beliefs.
Regan, who also told the Globe that the event was shut down because guests were refusing to show identification as the event’s organizers had required, told the Associated Press on Friday that he did not owe anyone an apology.
“I only repeated what I was told by the owners. It wasn’t until the attorney general’s Office started to put pressure on them that the owners wanted to rewrite the facts, for obvious reasons,” Regan said.
The $30,000 fine will be distributed mainly among groups that support black students in college.