City Desk

Another Stripper Sues Stadium Club for Failure to Pay Wages

Another day, another set of troubles for D.C.'s high end combination steakhouse/strip club, Stadium Club.

Somalia Odellas, an exotic dancer at the establishment, filed suit today against the club and its owners, James "Tru" Redding and Keith Forney, over unpaid wages.

The suit, which was filed in District court, says Odellas worked at the club from November 2011 to February 2012. She alleges that she was not paid for her work, which amounted to about 24 hours a week. (Odellas says she was an employee, and functioned as an employee, of the company, but the owners of the club classified her as an independent contractor.)

She did receive tips, but, according to the suit, was forced to pay a number of fines to the club, which included a "tip-in" to the owners, DJs, and security, resulting in her actually losing money each time she went to work. Odellas sued the club in March under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the District of Columbia Minimum Wage for failure to pay wages and overtime and for illegally taking her tips. Even after the March suit was filed, the club "willfully, intentionally, and maliciously continued their illegal practices." Redding said he had no comment on the suit and would be going to court.

But this isn't the first time the club has been charged with failing to pay its employees. Earlier in the year, another exotic dancer, Talayna Clements, sued the club for failing to pay her wages and alleged that she was coerced into having sex with her manager. And most recently, the club was forced to shutter for a day after the D.C. government seized it over unpaid taxes from another one of Redding's establishments, TruOrleans—the H Street NE scandal-plagued restaurant that had already closed. The owners paid the more than $100,000 (much of it reportedly in $1 bills) in unpaid taxes, and Stadium reopened soon after. At the time, Redding said he was in the process of selling the club.

Read the full lawsuit below.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Correction: The article originally misspelled Keith Forney's name and incorrectly identified Somalia Odellas as Odella Somalia.


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