WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. — Seven models have filed claims against two New Jersey strip clubs, which are both said to have used the women’s photos without consent on the clubs’ websites and social media pages.
Cheerleaders New Jersey Gentlemen's Club in Gloucester City, N.J., and Bare Den Adult Cabaret in Newton, N.J. were sued in two separate lawsuits this month at Newark federal court.
One of the plaintiffs suing Cheerleaders is Sara Underwood, a 2007 Playboy Playmate of the Year who has 4.7 million followers on Facebook, 598,000 followers on Twitter and 8.2 million followers on Instagram.
The Cheerleaders complaint includes exhibits showing one photo each of Underwood, as well as models and co-plaintiffs Lucy Pinder and Cora Skinner on the club's Facebook page.
Tiffany Toth, a Playboy Playmate of the Month in September 2011, also sued. Toth, who had seven pics allegedly misappropriated, joined in her suit against Bare Den with models Jessa Hinton, Eva Pepaj and Carissa Rosario.
In both claims, Cheerleaders and Bare Den allegedly used the plaintiffs' photos without permission on websites and social media pages — including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — deriving profits from the association while the plaintiffs' reputations diminished in value as a result of the unauthorized use.
The plaintiffs bring claims for misappropriation of likeness, unfair competition and consumer fraud. They seek compensatory and punitive damages and costs of the lawsuits.
"Each plaintiff is, and at all times mentioned herein was, a professional model and actress who earns a living by commercializing her identity, image and likeness for many business endeavors, including the advertisement and promotion of products and services through negotiated, arms-length transactions with reputable commercial brands and companies,” the pair of suits claim.
“Defendant has brazenly and repeatedly, without consent, misappropriated plaintiffs' images and likenesses for use in its advertising materials produced to market and promote its strip club.”
Underwood and Toth have similar litigation against Dixie Rose Cabarets in the Texas cities of Abilene and San Antonio.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs, represented by Baron & Budd of Encino, Calif., as well as Boucher LLP in Woodland Hills, Calif., did not respond for XBIZ comment by post time.
XBIZ was unable to reach representatives from Cheerleaders and Bare Den Adult Cabaret for comment by post time.
Pictured: Plaintiffs-supplied exhibit showing model Sara Underwood in Facebook post for Cheerleaders New Jersey Gentlemen's Club