A Miami swingers club will have to pay close to a million dollars to models whose images they used without permission to promote their club’s parties.
Miami Velvet used the misappropriated photos on their website, social media, and fliers to promote swingers sex parties over the years, according to the Miami Herald. At least 32 of those women were professional models.
The club was ordered to pay $892,500 to be split amongst the women, who mostly live in South Florida and Los Angeles, a jury decided Monday in Miami Federal Court.
The law firm representing the models originally sought $5.3 million.
“I think the jury’s decision was fair and I think they took into account that these women were entitled to say yes or no to the job, and ultimately, they wouldn’t have said yes,” lawyer Naim Surgeon, who represented the plaintiffs, told the Herald.
The suit was filed in 2015 and claimed that the club used images of the women to “class up” the club, where group sex is advertised. One of the club's most recently advertised events is called "Party Like a Porn Star." The suit claims that using the images of the models could lead people to think that they participated in the sex acts. Three of the model’s names were even used in the advertisements.
Models affected club include Joanna Krupa, of “The Real Housewives of Miami” fame, “Deal Or No Deal” model Cora Skinner, and Jaime Edmondson Longoria, a former Playboy model, former Boca Raton police officer and Miami Dolphins cheerleader.
“In 2019, we respect a woman’s right to say yes or no: consent matters and should matter to all of us,” Surgeon said during closing arguments on Monday, the Herald reports. “As decent people, we understand that’s how we want society to operate: consent requires permission first.”
Longoria was one of three women who sued Deja Vu Showgirls Tampa, a Florida strip club, for also allegedly using her photo without her permission to advertise their club, according to a Sun-Sentinel report from last year. It’s not clear what the status of that suit is.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.