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3 models accuse Thee Dollhouse strip club of stealing photos, file suit

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Tampa’s Thee Dollhouse may be in hot water and it’s not because of the strip club’s poor spelling. Three models not affiliated with the club are suing Thee Dollhouse for a combined $280,000 over unauthorized use of their photos.

Ashley Vickers, who has worked as a spokeswoman for NASCAR and an emcee for the Memphis Grizzlies professional basketball team, alleges a photo of her was posted to the strip club’s Facebook page alongside text that read, “who’s coming to play with me tonight?”

Two others, Jessica Hinton and Hillary Vinson, also argue their photos were stolen from the Internet and used to promote the strip club in brochures and various other advertising means.

Vinson was Miss Playboy Club of the Year in 2011. Hinton was Playmate of the month during that same year.

The three are represented by Sarah Cabaracas of the Casas law firm. That’s the same attorney behind nine lawsuits against strip clubs in Palm Beach County citing similar infractions.

The $280,000 lawsuit is derived from the amount the plaintiffs claim their photos were worth though it’s unclear how they came to that calculation.

It isn’t the first time Thee Dollhouse has found itself facing a lawsuit. They were named in a lawsuit against an automotive “hospitality” company where the plaintiff claimed that CEO frequently had sex with strippers from the club. Another suit filed by Thee Dollhouse’s general manager sought damages against his former mistress for falsely accusing him of stalking and theft.

The Tampa strip club is considered a hotbed of problems.

The three plaintiffs attempted to settle their case before filing litigation. In a letter sent to the company, they asked for an unknown amount of compensation to avoid litigation. That letter also asked that Thee Dollhouse not destroy photos that may be used as evidence in a lawsuit.

Thee Dollhouse is located at 1010 N. Westshore Blvd.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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