PHILADELPHIA - A dancer at a New Jersey strip club that doubled as a main setting for the HBO show The Sopranos has lost her defamation lawsuit over a photograph of her used in a news article about alleged real-life mafia ties.
U.S. District Judge Petrese B. Tucker of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in July refused to reconsider her decision to dismiss the lawsuit against the Daily News of New York, which was accused of posting an "unflattering" snapshot of the dancer with a story about the club being closed because of mob-related activities.
Diana LoMoro filed the motion back in March, shortly after Tucker granted Daily News’ motion to dismiss. She is represented by attorney Simon Rose.
LoMoro’s lawsuit revolves around an article published in the Dec. 19, 2017, edition of the Daily News and titled “Rack Whack." The article describes the closure of a gentleman’s club in Lodi, N.J., called Satin Dolls, which doubled as the fictional Bada Bing gentleman’s club in the HBO television show The Sopranos.
LoMoro made a cameo appearance in an episode of the show's fourth season and refers to herself on social media as the “Real Bada Bing Girl”.
LoMoro, who started at the club in 1990, asserts the article contained “an unflattering, edited photograph” of her alongside the story, which describes how Satin Dolls was closed because state authorities believed the club was being run by a convicted, reputed associate of the Genovese crime family of New York City, and also allegedly served as the site of illegal activities like racketeering and prostitution.
LoMoro’s motion for reconsideration says in part, “In her amended complaint, plaintiff/movant LoMoro also provided additional facts, and actual evidence, in support of actual malice, which taken as a whole can be construed to plead that defendant publisher knew that the offending statements were false or acted in reckless disregard of their falsity,” according to the motion.
She insisted that the Daily News posted the photo with malicious intent. She also called out the court for previously dismissing the case, stating that it’s the “harshest result this court could possibly mete out."
Still, she couldn’t convince the court to reverse the dismissal.
Tucker had dismissed the case in March in a one-page order. The Daily News had filed its motion to dismiss in December, arguing that it couldn't be alleged that the article implied LoMoro was involved in criminal activity and LoMoro did not allege that the photograph was false or published with actual malice.
"The Daily News article was about a matter of public concern: a strip club featured on a popular fictional television show about the mafia being shut down by the government due to the club’s real-life connections to organized crime," the motion says.
"Therefore, New Jersey defamation law requires Ms. LoMoro to plead and prove that the Daily News published the article with actual malice — or, in other words, that it 'knew [the article] to be false or acted in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity.'"