Two more professional models testified Wednesday that a gentleman’s club in West Los Angeles wrongfully used their photos to promote the establishment on social media without their permission in 2015-16 and never paid them, but one acknowledged she had previously worked at other strip clubs.
Kristina Chai and Jessica Killings both told a Los Angeles Superior Court panel hearing trial of Timed Out’s lawsuit against Prisma Entertainment LLC, owners of the Plan B club, that they would not want to be linked to such an establishment and did not know beforehand that their images would be posted on the club’s social media sites.
Two months after Timed Out filed suit in June 2017, Prisma filed a cross-complaint against social media strategy and publicity firm Chippewa, seeking reimbursement for any damages Prisma may have to pay. Judge Gregory Keosian told jurors before opening statements Tuesday that the cross-complaint was resolved before trial, as were the claims of models Kimberly Cozzens and Ursula Mayes.
Prisma attorney John T. Griffin said his client did not know that Chippewa was using the images of any models against their wishes.
Killings, Chai, Leanna Decker and Katarina Van Derham are seeking damages through Timed Out, which acquires and pursues claims for rights-of-publicity violations by third parties.
Plan B’s website describes it as “L.A.’s Ultimate Cocktail Lounge.” The Pico Boulevard club is the location of wet T-shirt and whipped cream wrestling events, according to plaintiffs’ attorney Zachary Page, who said the models’ images were used on the club’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Chai testified that the photo Plan B used of her was taken years earlier in Seattle as part of her portfolio. She said another model not associated with the lawsuit told her that the club had posted her photo.
“I really don’t want my image to be associated with a gentleman’s club,” Chai testified.
Chai said models demand more money for “unflattering” work because of the risks to their career. She said she doubted she would agree to have her image taken for Plan B, but that if she did, she believed she would deserve about $10,000.
Killings told jurors she worked as a stripper at clubs during the recession after her car sales job failed to generate enough income.
“It just seemed the right option,” she said.
But Killings said her work dancing fully nude is “something I’m not proud of” and that she does not want to be associated with gentlemen’s clubs now.
Killings said she does commercial modeling and also has appeared in music videos. She said she has about 2 million followers on the social media.
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