The Scottsdale, Ariz. City Council enjoyed an unusually packed meeting Monday night, no doubt due to the attendance of adult film superstar Jenna Jameson.
At issue was a series of proposals designed to toughen the city's restrictions on sexually oriented businesses. Jenna became embroiled in the controversy after becoming part owner of Babe's Cabaret, intending to turn it into the flagship of a Club Jenna strip club chain.
Unfortunately for Jameson, the Council voted unanimously in favor of many of the new restrictions, despite dozens of speakers defending the adult businesses. Among the new regulations are a 4-foot barrier between dancers and clients, and a redefining of "seminude." A proposed ban on alcohol sales did not pass.
Jameson did not speak at the meeting, but her counsel, First Amendment attorney Dick Hertzberg, did address the City Council. Hertzberg asked, "Why don't you give (Jameson) a chance? Let her run her business for a few months and see how it goes. What's wrong with fairness?"
In a statement made after the decision, Jameson said, "We are outraged that Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross and the City Council have enacted an ordinance that will effectively put our law-abiding and tax-paying cabaret out of business. They have created unfair and uncompromising rules governing the distance dancers have to be from cabaret patrons. This distance restriction will not be feasible within the small constraints of my cabaret Babe's, and would force me to shut down. This action was taken despite the fact that the dances the girls provide for customers are protected by our First Amendment rights under Freedom of Expression."
Jenna further states that she will be sponsoring a referendum to overturn the new ordinance and that more information will be available at www.jennafightsforfreedom.com.