MEATPACKING DISTRICT, Manhattan (PIX11) -- Three successful women were reportedly accused of prostitution at one high-end bar on the West side.
The Standard Hotel in the heart of NYC's Meatpacking District is known for a lot of things: exhibitionist bathrooms, a Jay-Z and Solange tussle in the elevator ... now accusing its patrons of being prostitutes? Well, that's a new one.
A Thursday night at The Standard's Le Bain nightclub out turned into a nightmare for these women.
Three professional black women believe they were targeted by a white bouncer about three weeks ago.
They were hanging out with a couple of gentlemen one second and were accused by the hotel bouncer of being hookers the next.
"I thought the security guard was doing his job -- protecting us and making sure someone wasn't making our time there less pleasant... but then the security guard turns to you ..." J Lyn Thomas said.
"He says, 'Come on ladies, you can have a drink but you can't be here soliciting," Kantaki Washington said.
" ... and he repeated himself he said don't act stupid," Thomas added. "He said, you're not allowed to solicit here ... we were just floored are we being called out as soliciting for sex."
Kantaki Washington is a law school graduate and an executive director of her own company.
J Lyn Thomas is a dance instructor who has worked with network shows and teaches at many NYC public schools.
Their third friend, Cydney Madlock is a schoolteacher. Needless to say, it was not an accusation they had ever heard before.
"A lot of people get confused because we are above the Mason-Dixon Line that racism does not exist," Washington said. "But it is very prevalent and it is very strong here in the city."
That evening and for weeks after, Washington says she tried to get an apology from The Standard Hotel. One finally did come only after local media outlets picked up the story.
"All of us at the Standard are deeply sorry for the mistreatment suffered by Ms. Washington, Ms. Madlock and Ms. Thomas. We have informed the security company that the person who made these comments is no longer welcome to work at our establishment, and we have launched a full internal review of the Standard's policies and procedures, as well as those of our third-party vendors, to ensure this situation never occurs again."
But Washington says she and her friends are not done letting the public know how The Standard treated them.
"It totally would not have happened if it was three white women," Washington said."this is something to let them know that you approached the wrong people this time."
Thomas said, "I know without the attention we're receiving, it would be swept underneath the rug."