Industry News

Recent news stories in the adult nightclub industry.

Lord of the dance side-steps...

criminal charges
Riverdance’s Michael Flatley sues stripper for false accusation
riverdance-logo-shortHere’s a tip to all those gold diggers who also think of themselves as exotic dancers: Don’t f*ck with Michael Flatley.  The guy known for his Irish jigging, high kickery as this realm’s “Lord of the Dance” has had the last laugh against the woman who falsely accused him of rape. 
(Yeah, we thought he was gay, too.)
Tyna Marie Robertson tried to extort $30 million from the Riverdance star after saying she would go public with—false—allegations that he had sexually assaulted her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2002.
(We weren’t aware that synchronized European line dancing paid so well.)
Robertson was arrested at her home in an affluent suburb of Chicago just after the first of the year after failing to appear for a court date.  She was later brought before Cook County judge Alexander White who told her she must cooperate with Mr. Flatley’s lawyers, who are seeking documentation of her assets.  The judge threatened to put her in civil contempt if she did not comply.
Flatley, who was out of the country at the time of the hearing, has stated in the past that he fought Robertson’s claims in order to help protect other celebrities from malicious, money-orientated claims.  He has vowed to donate any money recovered from the former dancer to charity.  To which we say, charity is noble, but why not put the money back into the adult nightclub industry?  $30 million will buy you a lot of lap dances, Mike.  You might even learn a new move or two for your next PBS performance: “Riverdance at Rick’s Cabaret.”
For Robertson, making false accusations seems to be a full-time occupation.  She has attempted to take a similar case against a Chicago doctor and is currently suing Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher in a paternity case.  With the Flatley case exposing a premeditated pattern of deceit, Robertson has as much chance of winning her paternity suit as the Bears winning next year’s Super Bowl.

It’s not always sunny in dade county, FL

Thee Dollhouse in Miami fights to stay
In Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, there is only one choice in adult nightclubs, Thee Dollhouse.  For almost 20 years, Thee Dollhouse has been seen by locals and tourists alike from its location off of the 163rd Street causeway.  Now some local politicians are demanding the club relocate across town.

dollhouse1According to the Miami Herald, city leaders are weighing whether to create a specially designated area for adult entertainment businesses.  The main cause for their proposal is that adult nightclubs, such as Thee Dollhouse, are situated in the gateway to the Miami and onto its main destination road, Collins Avenue.  “The business is not being banned from our city,’’ Commissioner Roslyn Brezin said at a November commission meeting.  “What we are asking you to do is change the locale for what is best for our city.’’

The owners of Thee Dollhouse, however, are not packing up any time soon.  ‘’The club has been there for close to 20 years and it’s not harmed anybody.  The city is flourishing around it,’’ says Daniel Aaronson, a First Amendment attorney hired to represent Thee Dollhouse.  Aaronson believes it is more of an issue with city image rather than legality.  “[Commissioners] don’t want people to drive into the city, and one of the first things they see is the club,’’ he said to local new outlets.  ‘’And that is not a good enough reason.’’
Representing the city of Sunny Isles Beach is attorney Hans Ottinot who says Thee Dollhouse’s current location is not zoned for adult entertainment.  “Under federal law, municipalities cannot ban adult establishments,” Ottinot said.  “But they can regulate where and how those businesses operate in order to protect the public from increased crime and lower property values.”  He acknowledged that Thee Dollhouse has not been a nuisance to the city, but said “that doesn’t preclude us from regulating them.’’

Attorneys for Thee Dollhouse say that argument doesn’t wash.  Another attorney, Norman Powell, who specializes in land use, was hired by the club and argued that the new rules would effectively shut the business down.

Club owners, Powell said, are willing to work with the city in order to stay put at 255 Sunny Isles Boulevard.  Some possible concessions include moving the entrance away from the street and updating the facade to make the building more attractive.
Powell argued that, because it predates the city’s 1997 incorporation, the club is grandfathered in — and therefore should not be subject to any zoning regulations.

Commissioners unanimously gave preliminary approval to establish an adult entertainment area within the city’s town center district, which includes retail businesses such as the newly opened Epicure Gourmet market and a Starbucks.

After a recent District Court decision,

the U.S. Marshals may begin to run the Crazy Horse Too
In a different kind of governmental bailout, federal authorities are reversing a position and asking a judge to let members of U.S. Marshal Service operate the famed Crazy Horse Too adult nightclub in Las Vegas that was seized after the owner was sentenced to prison.  The change is reflected by documents filed in November asking a U.S. District Court for a decision whether to let a California bank foreclose on the club.

crazyhorseSecurity Pacific Bank has said it wants to foreclose to satisfy a $5 million loan it made to former Crazy Horse owner Rick Rizzolo.  It filed documents recently, saying the value of the club had declined from about $30 million to $4.6 million under the Marshals’ control.
Rizzolo was sentenced in 2006 to just over a year in prison for tax evasion and was ordered to sell the club (located just off the Las Vegas Strip) to pay $17 million in court-ordered fines, forfeitures and settlements.

A hard time in the big easy?

Could be, if one lawmaker has his way
Senator John Smith, a Republican from Leesville, Louisiana, has introduced a “six-foot” bill in his state’s legislature to ban any contact in New Orleans adult nightclubs.  The Louisiana Family Forum, the lobbying group sponsoring the bill, claims that the city’s adult clubs promote crime.  Not everyone agrees.

bourbonIn between the Mardi Gras holiday, New Orleans’ Bourbon Street is known for its draw of upscale adult clubs.  “An average night will be $1,200, and if I get someone who wants me to sit with them a long time, maybe $1,500,” said one exotic dancer known as “Charlie,” to local New Orleans affiliate, WDSU. Smith’s bill calls for a six-foot buffer between dancers and customers at all times.  Violations would result in up to $500 in fines and 90 days in jail.

Entertainers fund county budget?

Licenses to triple in Palm Beach County, FL
Palm Beach County’s Public Safety Director, Vince Bonvento, thinks local entertainers should front the bill for p
ublic safety, raising the amount of money his department is allowed to spend.  Due to recent “budget cuts,” the county department needs more money. 

budgetcutBonvento made mention to the Palm Beach Post in November that county officials are considering a proposal to raise the fee for an Adult Entertainer Work Identification Card from $25 to up to $100 in part of an effort to increase Public Safety Department funding. 

Over the Hill? Entertainers Sue

Over the hill in ontario ... or not;
Two entertainers claiming age discrimination

poledancerAge.  Ain’t it a bitch. 

It’s no industry secret that there is a definite “shelf life” to an entertainer’s career.  The unwritten rule states that exotic dancing is — typically — a young lady’s game. 

Recently, however, two Ontario entertainers have challenged that school of thought by asking the question, ”How old is too old to dance?” in a Canadian courtroom. 

Kimberlee Ouwroulis, 44, filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in September against the New Locomotion club (and its owner, Jon Sit) claiming she was fired because of her age.  Another entertainer from the same Mississauga club, Barbara Sanderson, 45, filed a similar complaint in November.  The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits employers from treating employees differently because of their age unless it is a legitimate job requirement.

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