Adult film star to battle council on club ordinance
Lesley Wright The Arizona Republic Dec. 10, 2005 12:00 AM
SCOTTSDALE - Adult film star Jenna Jameson said she will appear at a Scottsdale City Council meeting Monday to try to save her Club Jenna from a restrictive ordinance.
Jameson blasted the city for handing its sexually oriented businesses ordinance to attorney Scott Bergthold, "a well-known hired gun for the religious right" to revise the code.
"Erotic dancing has been declared a legal form of artistic expression in court after court, including the U.S. Supreme Court," Jameson said.
"Whether you want to watch erotic dances or not is entirely up to you," Jameson said, "but no one has the right to impose their own narrow moralism on the rest of us, and that is exactly what Mr. Bergthold is advising Mayor Mary Manross to do."
The council will go through a laundry list of options for revising the ordinance. Some of the restrictions would outlaw topless dancing and alcohol, a move that Skin Cabaret owner Todd Borowsky said would effectively shut them down.
Skin, which won the 2004 Best of Phoenix award from New Times, has operated from 1137 N. Scottsdale Road for 30 years with little notice from residents.
That changed in August, when Jameson bought Babe's Cabaret just up Scottsdale Road and prepared for a major renovation.
Scottsdale officials had planned to revise the ordinance anyway to bring it up to date with recent court rulings, but decided to give it a closer look as a result of community outcry over Babe's.
Borowsky said that he and his lawyer, John H. Weston, were shut out of the process during the drafting of the ordinance. When they saw it on Dec. 2, they were appalled.
"In my experience, this is a very, very extremist proposal," said Weston, who has practiced First Amendment law for 25 years. "I have not seen this attempted in Arizona, California or any of the Western states."
The Scottsdale City Attorney's Office has refused to discuss the issue before Monday's meeting.
Bergthold, who is associated with a Christian-based non-profit group of attorneys called the Alliance Defense Fund, also declined comment.
If the restrictions go through, he likely will be talking to some judges.
"I think this piece of legislation is potentially the subject of litigation for many lawyers in many courts for a very long period of time," Weston said.
The meeting begins at 5 p.m. at Scottsdale City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
Reach the reporter at lesley .firstname.lastname@example.org.