POSTED: 4:38 a.m. HST, May 21, 2012
LAS VEGAS >> Some instructors of the popular "Stripper 101" class and show in Las Vegas are in a legal battle over video cameras, claiming they were secretly recorded while in a dressing room.
A July hearing is planned on a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by five instructors of "Stripper 101," which has drawn thousands of female participants since it opened in 2006.
The show features professional exotic dancers, who teach pole dancing, lap dancing and striptease techniques. While no nudity is involved, participants wear shorts or a skirt and high heels.
The instructors, in their complaint filed in Clark County District Court in March, claim they were secretly videotaped "performing very personal and private acts" while in the dressing room.
The suit claims the instructors were so upset after discovering two hidden video cameras in January that they suffered severe emotional distress as well as shame and humiliation, the Las Vegas Sun reported (http://bit.ly/KMxafC ).
The combination classroom-showroom at Caesars Entertainment Corp.'s Planet Hollywood served as their dressing room since a separate dressing room wasn't provided, the suit states, and that created an expectation of privacy.
The suit further alleges that producer David Saxe secretly ordered video cameras be set up where instructors and customers dressed and undressed, and that Saxe and others viewed video from the feed.
But lawyer Jennifer Arledge, who represents Stripper 101 and Saxe, last month filed a motion asking that the suit be dismissed.
"The allegation that the video cameras were installed in the 'Stripper 101' classroom surreptitiously and to conduct 'covert video surveillance' of plaintiffs is false," the dismissal motion states. "They are security cameras installed and used for that purpose."
The surveillance cameras were installed as "part of a systematic and ongoing long-term upgrade of the existing surveillance system that was already in place" at the theater, as well as at other nearby businesses, the motion adds.
The instructors are seeking more than $50,000 in punitive damages and other unspecified damages. Among other claims, they allege invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The five instructors still work at Stripper 101 as independent contractors, Arledge said, and now have another area where they change clothes.