Loss of Carmen Electra lawsuit leads to ‘temporary’ closure of upstate New York strip club

COLONY — After losing a lawsuit brought by former “Baywatch” cast member Carmen Electra and two other actor-models for using their photos in publicity without permission or compensation, DiCarlo’s Gentlemen’s Club, one of the bars at the area’s most venerable strip club, will temporarily close after business Saturday, according to a note posted Thursday on its Facebook page.

The loss of the lawsuit, filed in January 2020 in U.S. District Court in Syracuse, prompted the bar’s insurance company to refuse to renew his coverage, and he was unable to find a new provider, according to the note, which says, “at this time we cannot operate as an uninsured entity.”

DiCarlo owner Larry Davis, a local entrepreneur who has stakes in various fields including hospitality and communications software, said Thursday he was legally barred from discussing the conclusion of the lawsuit. Club founder Sal DiCarlo, who died in 2012, was a friend of Davis for decades. DiCarlo’s estate sold him the club’s property, at 1165 Central Ave., and a nearby building with retail space downstairs and apartments upstairs.

Davis said he was open to considering selling DiCarlo’s.

When he took over, in 2014, DiCarlo’s operators were announced to be Tess Collins, who Davis also supported at McGeary’s Pub in downtown Albany, and Shahila Abbasi, then head chef at McGeary’s. Their involvement made DiCarlo one of the few strip clubs in the country owned and operated by women. Abbasi, who is no longer involved, left McGeary’s. Collins, originally named in the lawsuit, had her claims against her dismissed by a judge. She said Thursday that she had terminated her affiliation with DiCarlo’s.

A potential reopening date for DiCarlo was unclear. According to the Facebook note, “We will work on the situation and improve the club in the meantime.” The note says the last three days of activity for now are Thursday through Saturday this week. Still feeling the effects of the pandemic, DiCarlo’s final hours were limited to 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

The memo appeared to acknowledge having hijacked images of Electra and her co-plaintiffs, Lucy Pinder and Irina Voronina, for use in risque social media ads.

“We made the mistake of using the likeness of a famous actress in a photo on our website,” the note reads, adding, “She and a group of lawyers sued us. We lost the case. ” It was not immediately clear whether the suit had been heard by a jury.

Electra was “never hired to endorse DiCarlo, received no compensation for defendants’ unauthorized use of his likeness, and has suffered and will continue to suffer damages as a result,” the lawsuit said. It was the same for Pinder and Voronin.

The lawsuit alleged that the club illegally used an image of Electra and altered it to make it look like she worked at DiCarlo by showing her posing on a stripper pole with the words: “Dating a stripper.” -teaser is like eating a loud bag of chips in church. Everyone looks at you with disgust but deep down they want it too.

Pinder, 36, a British model and actor who appeared on “Celebrity Big Brother” and once appeared in a movie called “Strippers vs Werewolves,” has been featured in several adverts for DiCarlo’s. Voronina, who was Playboy magazine’s January 2001 Miss and was the first St. Pauli Girl to ring the New York Stock Exchange closing bell for the beer company, had roles in “Reno 911!: The Movie,” “Balls of Fury,” “Piranha 3DD,” and “Killing Hasselhoff.” Images of both were used in DiCarlo’s social media ads without permission or compensation, the suit claims, and neither were never worked nor agreed to endorse it.