The Palomino Club Blog

New Jersey strip clubs hit with model lawsuits

December 1, 2017  |   11:44 am

In October, the Detroit strip club Trumpps got smacked with a lawsuit filed by a group of actresses and Playboy models. Trumpps was using pictures of the women for its advertising without consent. In that blog, we discussed several strip clubs across the country sued under similar circumstances, including a pair of New Jersey strip clubs in Gloucester City and Newton.

It’s a serious challenge in the industry for strip clubs to look for an edge over the competition. Some clubs go the extra mile to bring in the customers. For example, Club Risqué in Philadelphia sets up special events that feature porn stars. It’s not every day you get to see a woman like this in person, and Club Risqué knows it. Special events and unique features, like Palomino’s all-nude shows and full bar for another example, are a smart and legit way to get gentlemen (and some ladies, we’re sure) through the doors to see a show.

And then you have over a dozen New Jersey strip clubs that aren’t going that extra mile, cutting corners where they can. Models from across the U.S. and Great Britain are having their likeness used without permission by these clubs. Eventually, thanks to the internet, you will get caught for this; it’s not a matter of if but when someone notices.

What’s at stake here?

Potentially, there’s quite a bit of money in play – enough that the average betting man might shy away from this particular table. Last month, we talked about some big names involved in other, similar lawsuits. Carmen Electra and 2007 Playmate of the Year Sara Underwood are among those in this legal barrage.

The argument being made by Jonas P. Mann, the attorney representing a number of the models, is pretty straightforward: these women make a living based on their looks, and their likenesses are sold to companies who want to use them for promotion. The New Jersey strip clubs who’ve been caught red-handed here have not paid for the likenesses, but they are trying to profit off them.

Let’s be honest: when you see a particularly hot lady or handsome gentleman in an advertisement, it can get your attention. And if, say, a club shows a picture of a Playboy model or adult actress, it stands to reason that you expect to see this person there.

That appeal is what these models are selling, and it can be worth a lot in the right hands. And it can also be expensive enough that a strip club might try to use those likenesses for free.

New Jersey strip clubs are part of a trend

Since 2015, clubs across the U.S. have been getting hit with lawsuits about the use of likenesses without permission. The clubs named this week are only part of a growing problem, and strip clubs aren’t the only places getting in hot water for this. Atlantic City’s “erotic couples’ playground” RolePlay Lounge was plastering its Facebook page with photos of Ina Schnitzer, better known as Jordan Carver. Like the other women filing these lawsuits, she didn’t sell the Lounge permission to use those photos.

Some of these New Jersey strip clubs aren’t backing down, or playing the “news to me” card. Cheerleaders, a strip club in Gloucester City, was hit with a cease and desist on July 31st. It’s never responded, and according to the lawsuit filed against it, Cheerleaders continues to use the photos of models without permission.

There’s absolutely no doubt in our minds that there will be more cases like this. It’s a competitive business, and sometimes that competition brings out the cheats. It’ll be up to the courts to decide where this all goes from here. A gambler would probably say the odds are against the clubs on this one, though.