Carmen Electra, others suing Golden Banana over ads

Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP, FileCarmen Electra attends the Christian Siriano Runway Show in September 2018 during New York Fashion Week in New York. The model/actress is the lead plaintiff in a suit alleging the owner of Peabody's Golden Banana used images of her without her permission to promote the club on social media.  

PEABODY — Nine models and actresses have filed suit against the owner of Peabody’s Golden Banana, alleging that their images were used without permission to promote the club on social media. 

The lead — and best known — plaintiff is Carmen Electra, the actress, model and recording artist, who filed the suit under her actual name, Tara Leigh Patrick. 

D&B Corp., which also owns Salisbury’s Ten’s Show Club and Revere’s Squire Lounge, is named as a defendant along with owner Mark Filtranti. 

Along with Electra, models C.J. Gibson, Denise Milani, Julianne Klaren, Rachel Koren, Rosa Acosta, Abigail Ratchford, Keeley Hazell and Kim Cozzens are plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Boston. 

The suit seeks damages for the unauthorized use of the women’s images, as well as an injunction barring Filtranti and the corporation from again using those images under a federal law known as the Lanham Act.

The suit also seeks damages for invasion of privacy, defamation, violation of the Massachusetts Unfair Trade Practices Act and right of publicity law, and conversion (the civil form of theft). 

The suit says that the misuse of the women’s images damages their reputations, which are “critical in order to maximize their earning potential, book modeling contracts, and establish each of their individual brands.” For that reason, they are selective in the companies and brands for which they model, the lawsuit says.

The suit alleges that the images, some of which were lifted from the models’ own Instagram pages, were “misappropriated and intentionally altered” in order to make it appear that they either appeared at or endorsed the Golden Banana.

Electra’s photo, for example, appeared in several posts on Instagram promoting “Amateur Night” at the club.

None of the models received any compensation for their images being used, the suit says.

Beyond that, however, the use of the images had the potential to damage the earning power and reputations of the women, the suit says, because it would cause some potential employers or members of the public to look upon the women in a negative light. 

The suit includes screenshots of Instagram posts that featured each of the models, with information about the club superimposed onto them.

The posts and the account that they were made from appear to have been removed but still appear online in archived versions. 

Paul Sullivan, a Rhode Island lawyer representing Electra and the other plaintiffs, was not immediately available for comment Wednesday. 

Efforts to reach Filtranti at the Golden Banana and at Ten’s, where the corporate offices are located, on Wednesday were unsuccessful. 

Last month, Electra was one of 11 models and actresses who filed suit in Nevada against several clubs in that state. A number of other suits have been filed against strip clubs around the country, according to a search of the federal court case management system. 

Earlier this year, the Golden Banana was sued by three former dancers, who allege wage law violations by the owners, who required the dancers to pay a fee in order to work a shift there. That case is pending in Salem Superior Court.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.