I was gang-raped in Budapest – and Airbnb ignored me, then insulted me

I was in Budapest on Memorial Day weekend. Checked into an Airbnb rental at 7 pm and the host, Gabor, told me that I could call or text him anytime with any questions. Despite it being a Saturday night, I immediately began working on a report titled Women, Business, and the Law. At 9 pm, I realized that I hadn’t eaten since 8 am. So I texted and called Gabor, asking for the location of the nearest convenience store. I received no response. At midnight, I did the same—and again, had no response. Finally, at 2 am, I stopped working and left the unit. It had been 16 hours since I’d eaten. Immediately, I realized that I’d left the key to the apartment inside. What to do? No one was working at the front desk. Airbnb wasn’t answering. The US Embassy wasn’t answering. So I wandered Budapest, doing my best to avoid the drunken crowds. Took photos. Called my best friend from high school, Michele (in Texas, where it was a reasonable hour). But after an hour, she had to go feed her kids. Around 6 am, I came around a corner and saw a woman being harassed by a group of men at a major intersection. I won’t abide seeing a woman in distress, so I told them to stop. They said, “make us—either with force or money.” I said, “I’m not an idiot…I didn’t bring much money, knowing that I’d be among large groups and I’m clearly not Hungarian.” They said, “Oh, so you must be American—so get money.” I said, “I brought one credit card, and I don’t know the PIN for it. I don’t take money out on credit cards.” That made them angry. So, I’m told, they hit me in the back of the head with a steel pipe. Dragged me into an alley. And 4 to 6 men raped me. The next thing that I remember, I was awakened on a gurney in a hospital covered in blood, with most of my clothes cut off and an orderly screaming in my face that I was a “disgusting American maggot f***ot who deserved what happened and probably liked it.” He also said I had to leave the hospital immediately. Even though I was in shock and completely confused, I managed to ask, “What happened to me?” He said, “You know what happened—and you wanted it.” So I got up, found the doctor and asked if I really had to leave. He said, “My god no! We still need to do a CT scan, blood work, and more invasive tests. We thought you might be dead. You have to stay here at least 12-14 more hours.” I asked again, “What happened to me? Please tell me.” He said, “You really have no idea? Even through the pain medication?” And then I realized. So I left the hospital; I couldn’t wait through that. So I tried to talk to the police, to file a report. They laughed at me and said, F you, American f***ot. I got to a hostel, but Airbnb still wouldn’t answer. I still couldn’t contact the Airbnb host or get back into the unit. Then I had to call my mother and tell her what had happened to the youngest of her five sons. Then the US Embassy, who provided advice on getting a locksmith for the Airbnb unit and a replacement phone (mine had obviously been stolen during the attack). A couple days later, I left Budapest for Prague. Airbnb wouldn’t help me there either. I had to walk everywhere because I had no currency—including to a clinic to get post-HIV and STD exposure medications. The meds made me incredibly sick. I lost 40 pounds. Finally, in Berlin, Airbnb started calling me incessantly. Trying to seem like they were my friends. I said, I’m not talking to you. Everything has to be by email. Because you failed me as a company and as human beings. This will all be documented. So they called my mother—without my knowledge or permission. My mother, who has been dealing with my father’s Alzheimer’s. And told her that I’m “unbalanced.” My mother told them (politely) that she didn’t have a word to say to them. My parents both worked for the US government and don’t like attention. Then Airbnb changed their rules and said I could no longer contact them or their Legal Department. I lived in San Francisco for 17 years, before I moved back to Charlottesville, VA, in August 2014 to help my mother deal with my father. I’ve been in one relationship for 24 years. I work for international organizations, foreign governments, NGOs, and charities. I do anything I possibly can to help make the world a better place. Airbnb does not. It placed profits before people long ago. Proposition F in San Francisco MUST fail. I apologize for the length of this post. Thank you.

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4 Comments

    • I’m a gay male and this whole story sounds so FAKE
      If i was gang raped I’d definitely know and all the other stuff seems too fabricated
      Sorry but Joe S is right sounds like Jussie Smollett wrote this article

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