Investigation | 

Owner of Thai restaurant at centre of ‘gay orgy’ storm denies holding sex party in premises

Sack Joulavong (42), owner of the Bai Tong takeaway in north Belfast said people have been ‘phoning the shop asking for blow-***s’

Sack Joulavong

Bai Tong takeaway in Ardoyne

Stephen Montgomery

John TonerBelfast Telegraph

The owner of a Thai restaurant at the centre of a ‘gay orgy’ storm on social media has denied holding a sex party with “sheets on the floor” in the premises.

Sack Joulavong (42), owner of the Bai Tong takeaway in Ardoyne, north Belfast, said he had suffered homophobic abuse as a result of the claims and lost thousands of pounds in revenue.

The salacious rumours went viral on social media last weekend after make-up artist Stephen Montgomery claimed to have been tricked into attending an orgy at the restaurant.

Mr Montgomery, from Newtownabbey, said he turned up to a late-night rendezvous with a man he met on the gay dating app Grindr, only to find a sex party taking place.

However, Bai Tong owner Mr Joulavong insisted the claims were untrue and said Mr Montgomery had been asked to leave an informal drinks gathering at the venue.

Both parties have contacted the PSNI over the matter, with cops now investigating to see if any offences have been committed.

Bai Tong takeaway in Ardoyne

Mr Joulavong said: “I think maybe he was upset that I had asked him to leave, but everyone was leaving at that point.

“We had been renovating the place for an upcoming health inspection. A few friends and I had a couple of beers after work, and one of them invited Stephen over.

“I don’t even know him, but I think he was a bit annoyed when I asked him to leave along with everyone else. I’m sorry if he was upset by that.

“The next day my staff were texting me non-stop and all this stuff about an orgy was all over social media.

“I didn’t think it would be a problem, but it kept getting worse and worse, with people phoning the shop asking for blow-***s and harassing my staff. I had to close for several days.

“I don’t know where all this is coming from, but it has been really upsetting and stressful.

“Why would I let people have sex in my shop? This is my business. That would be really stupid.”

Mr Joulavong opened Bai Tong three years ago, having previously worked with Invest NI.

He said while the takeaway was popular, the social media storm had damaged his business.

He continued: “I had to close down our Facebook page because people wouldn’t leave us alone. We had over 1,600 negative comments in a day or so. Four days I had to close. It probably cost me over £2,000.

“My staff didn’t want to come to work and customers didn’t want to order because they didn’t know what was going on.

“I thought I was going to have to close down my shop. I decided to call the police because I didn’t know what else to do. I had people walking past the shop shouting homophobic abuse at me.

“Some staff have told me they’re not coming back, some of our usual delivery drivers are refusing to collect orders from us and one of the painters we had in was even told not to come back by his wife.

“This is awful. I don’t know what’s going on and I feel scared and confused. I hope the police can help me.

“I feel as though my privacy has been taken away. If I have done something wrong, the police can take me to jail, but I haven’t.”

Mr Montgomery, who declined to discuss the matter with this newspaper, posted an account of his alleged brush with the apparent orgy on social media last Sunday.

Stephen Montgomery

Writing on his Facebook account in a now deleted post, he said: “To say I’m traumatised is an understatement. Was texting some fella on Grindr. He asked me to come to the Ardoyne shops to meet him and chill. That was grand.

“Got a taxi over and was waiting. A shutter of one of the Chineses (sic) opened.

“I was like, ‘Hmm okay’. It was your fella and he said, ‘Come in for a drink’. So me being stupid I went in.

“The shutter closes behind me, and when I tell you there was a full-blown orgy going on in this Chinese, I’m not even messing.

“Sheets on the floor, the lot. I was so uncomfortable.

“I was called boring, stupid and a waste of time, all because I didn’t want to be involved. (I) asked to leave and was finally let out.”

Mr Montgomery addressed the claims in a number of subsequent Facebook posts, some of which have since been deleted and one of which included a video of him leaving the premises while repeating the word “orgy”.

A PSNI spokesman said: “Police received a report of an incident in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast in the early hours of Sunday morning, August 7. Investigations are ongoing.”


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