A Perth nightclub owner who rejected a patron's claim her drink had been spiked by suggesting she was not attractive enough to be targeted, says he regrets "calling her out in a sarcastic and demeaning way".
After Shantel Smith told Rapture Nightclub's Neil Scott two of her friends had been spiked at the venue and she may also have been, he replied on Facebook, calling for evidence and asking if she was "worth" spiking.
He then doubled down, telling reporters, "I don't know if she thinks she's special enough to be spiked", and CCTV footage showed she hadn't been so he'd replied to her "silly" claim "accordingly".
On Wednesday, Mr Scott again posted on Facebook, saying he didn't believe her story as the club took patron safety seriously.
"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," he wrote.
"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.
"I am sorry. I should have swallowed my disbelief and not let emotion rule my head."
He advised any club patron who suspected their drink had been spiked to tell staff as soon as possible so perpetrators may be caught.
However, his post appears to have been deleted with his apology facing criticism.
One person called his apology “half-arsed” and “not genuine”.
“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,” the social media user wrote, according to news.com.au.
Another added they had lost respect for Mr Scott after his comments about Ms Smith’s appearance.
The controversy has sparked an online petition calling for the club to be turned into a homeless shelter or women's refuge, and for the revocation of Mr Scott's liquor licence.
More than 20,000 people have signed.
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