A group of women who teach tourists the art of pole dancing has sued Las Vegas show producer David Saxe, claiming his staff installed hidden video cameras that captured footage of women in various stages of undress.
The women taught Stripper 101, where, for $40, any woman can learn how to seductively shimmy and shake like the pros. The class has been held in the lounge above the V Theater at Aladdin's Desert Passage mall since 2006.
Plaintiffs Rachael Carter, Lana Stewart, Jill Sutherin, Kindra Kroll and Nicole Cherry say they discovered the discreet cameras in January while trying to move what they thought was a stage light. When one of them moved the ceiling light with a broom handle, she discovered it was a camera, according to the lawsuit filed March 16.
They discovered another camera in the area, which served as both a performance stage and a dressing area where "some of the customers even disrobe and get down to their underwear" because of "assurances that there are no cameras in the room," the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit, whose defendants include Saxe, his productions company and several employees, includes claims of invasion of privacy, conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In a motion to dismiss, lawyers for the defendants said the cameras were installed as part of an upgrade in the security system.
In the class, the Stripper 101 instructors show "exotic dance moves including but not limited to poses and gestures creating an erotic yet comfortable experience using pole dancing, chair moves and sexual postures" for tourists and attendees to follow, the lawsuit states.
After discovering the cameras, Carter asked management to remove them, saying the instructors and attendees had an expectation of privacy and did not know cameras where filming them. She noted signs posted in the area banning cameras, according to the lawsuit.
The stripping teachers and their students had an expectation of privacy in the room, the lawsuit states, pointing to a 2009 incident when a male employee walked into the classroom without knocking while some of the women were undressing.
The women complained, and a manager put a lock on the door so no one could burst in unannounced, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit asks for more than $350,000 in punitive and other damages because of actions that were "outrageous and beyond the bounds of conduct usually tolerated in a civilized community."
In their motion to dismiss, Saxe and the other defendants say the women's case "contains misstatements of fact, half-truths and misrepresentations."
It also attacks the "colorful unsubstantiated allegations" as an attempt to "paint a picture of perverse malfeasance hoping to tarnish the reputation of defendants merely by making the accusations a public record."
The video cameras were installed in the Stripper 101 classroom as part of an ongoing upgrade of the video surveillance system in the V Theater and other nearby venues. "Video surveillance is a commonly utilized security tool in any casino and/or show in Las Vegas," the motion states.
The lawsuit also denies claims that the video was accessed by employees to watch the women performing "personal and private acts."
A hearing is set for July 19 on the defendants' motion to dismiss.
Contact reporter Brian Haynes at email@example.com or 702-383-0281.