Seventeen models have sued three Houston topless bars for invasion of privacy in a Texas state district court alleging the defendants misappropriated their images to promote their businesses and even photoshopped them into scenes depicting them as present at the strip clubs.
The models, most of who are California residents who’ve been featured in print ads, magazines and movies, filed suit against Centerfolds, Splendor and Treasures alleging the topless clubs deliberately positioned their photos on the internet and in social media posts to imply they were strippers or that they endorsed the defendants’ sexually oriented businesses.
The Oct. 24 petition in Middleton v. Centerfolds alleges that while the models signed releases for some of their professionally taken photos, they did not consent to their images being used by a third party. The models also allege the clubs invaded their privacy and are seeking more than a million dollars in damages for injury to their reputations.
“None of these models consented to the clubs’ use of their images. The models are talented, highly successful models who earn substantial amounts of money by promoting their images to various clients and take great pride in their reputation in the industry,” according the petition.
“The images were obtained and used without the permission of these plaintiffs and are defamatory on their faces,” the petition alleges.
Dennis Postiglione, a Austin attorney who represents the models in the case, did not return a call for comment. Albert Van Huff, a Houston attorney who serves as the registered agent for the topless clubs, also did not return a call for comment.