A former Sandals Resorts butler accused of molesting a bride in her sleep is claiming he was just giving the woman a goodnight hug.
According to the Daily Mail, in April 2016, Moral Adderley, allegedly sneaked into the honeymoon suite where Ashley Reid Pascarella, and her now husband Jeffrey Pascarella had been staying before the couple’s destination wedding.
Despite the resort’s request to keep authorities out of it, the New Jersey newlyweds insisted on involving the police, and last week Adderley pleaded guilty to indecent assault.
But now the butler is claiming he only plead guilty to the sex crime to avoid jail time, and that the incident was all a misunderstanding.
“As I completed to take the breakfast order she said, ‘Moral, you’re the best. Can I have a hug before you leave?”‘ he recalled in a statement to Bahamian TV.
But Reid Pascarella had a drastically different account of the encounter and says the resort butler assigned to the couple made an advance while her fiancé was using the bathroom.
“Something was prompting me to wake up, something was wrong,” the 32-year-old said in a statement to the New York Post. “As I started to wake myself up, I realized his hands were down my pants and I jumped out of bed”
“I screamed. He got up, he ran out of the room. I was just kind of disheveled and disoriented. I couldn’t make sense of what just happened. I was in shock.”
That’s when her groom-to-be ran out of the bathroom to check on his fiancée, then left the room to chase down Adderley.
The butler was arrested and Sandals claims they fired Adderley that same night, but the Pascarellas said Adderley called their room the next morning to take her breakfast order, “as if the assault had never happened.”
“It was surreal. It just didn’t feel like what you grow up imagining your whole life what your wedding would be like,” Ashley Reid Pascarella said.
The couple went through with the wedding ceremony so as not to disappoint the 70 guests who flew to the Caribbean for their nuptials. But when Sandals offered to refund the newlyweds $15,000 for the event on the condition that they sign a nondisclosure agreement, they declined.
“Throughout the process, the [resort staff] were just very dismissive,” Pascarella explained to the Post. “They didn’t want us to call the police. I think they were just doing everything they could not to escalate this and just move on.”
But the bride says she was diagnosed with PTSD as a result of what happened and the pair is suing Sandals Resorts for $30 million.
“This was a guy who came in and was assigned to them as a butler to make it a memorable wedding – and indeed he did, but it is a ghastly memory for them,” explained their lawyer, John Nicholas Iannuzzi.
In response to the suit, a Sandals spokeswoman sent issued statement, writing: “There is nothing more important than the safety and security of our guests, and we take allegations of criminal assault at our resorts seriously. We have worked tirelessly over decades to create a safe and enjoyable environment at our resorts, and our efforts include collaborating with various government and law enforcement resources to ensure we are among the safest resorts operating in the Caribbean.”