Jessica Sanders Responds to Drink.Well Controversy

Business partner/wife says Michael Sanders has entered rehab

Jessica Sanders Responds to Drink.Well Controversy

In response to allegations that Drink.Well bar owner Michael Sanders sexually assaulted bar manager Becca Yannone, bar co-owner and wife Jessica Sanders released a statement Friday evening expressing her devastation and confusion about the recent events.

Sanders, who opened the bar in 2012 with her husband, writes that Michael has checked into a rehab facility, after struggling with alcohol and depression for years. The alleged incident caused Yannone and three other staff members to quit their jobs at Drink.Well. Sanders notes that the staff that have chosen to remain at the cocktail bar will be compensated in full and confirms their working relationship with South Lamar bar Backbeat has ended. “I intend to help everyone who has been affected by this. I have reached out to the members of the staff at both bars to be as transparent as I can with them and try to understand what may be needed to heal and move forward,” writes Sanders.

The full response below:


"This comes from my heart:

"As a woman, a wife, and a member of an incredible industry that I love deeply, the events of this week have been nearly incomprehensible to me. I am confused and devastated.

"On Tuesday, Michael checked into an inpatient rehabilitation facility, where he will remain for as long as necessary. As family, friends and colleagues who are most intimately familiar with us know, Michael has struggled with depression and anxiety for many years. Alcohol abuse has been the means with which he has often dealt with these issues — the consequences of which are now being most deeply felt. Michael has a very long and multifaceted road of recovery ahead of him and he is now in an environment where he can begin that journey. I and his family intend to support him wherever that road leads him.

"Meanwhile, I intend to help everyone who has been affected by this. I have reached out to the members of the staff at both bars to be as transparent as I can with them and try to understand what may be needed to heal and move forward. There was a lot I didn’t know then and there’s a lot I still don’t know now. I am working really quickly to understand the full scope of what has transpired here and be as helpful as possible.

"The staff that has chosen to remain on at drink.well. during its closure, however long that may be, are being compensated at their full salaries. The investor at Backbeat, Montauriol LLC, have articulated their own statement. Our working relationship with them will be ending effective immediately and that business will continue its operations with the staff there seamlessly without my immediate involvement.

"I want to express how grateful I am for every person who has offered a message of love, support and hope for me, my staff and mine & Michael’s families. I ask that the community at large please be as supportive as you can to my entire staff, past and present, while they work through this difficult and complex time. Please know I will be doing all I can to help heal the wounds that may have come out of this."

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