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Porn star Jenna Jameson must pay $92,000 for missing personal appearances

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 9:25 a.m. CST

(MCT) — CHICAGO — A DuPage County judge Tuesday entered a $92,000 judgment against adult film actress Jenna Jameson for failing to show up for two personal appearances last year at theaters in Illinois.

Judge Patrick Leston ordered Jameson, whose real surname is Massoli, to reimburse the owner of the Hollywood Palms theater group for costs, revenue and promotional value the group lost when Jameson breached her contract to make appearances in Naperville and Woodridge.

Jameson did not appear in court, and was not represented by counsel. She had previously been represented by a local attorney, but he later withdrew, so Jameson lost by default. Attorneys for the theater group said Jameson representatives had indicated that they would not defend the lawsuit.

The theater had paid her travel expenses and agreed to pay Jameson a $10,000 fee to appear at group’s two theaters in March 2011 in conjunction with showings of a movie in which Jameson starred called “Zombie Strippers!”

But Jameson, citing illness, backed out less than 48 hours before the event. The lawsuit later filed by the theaters said Jameson was videotaped at a celebrity birthday party the same weekend she was to appear in DuPage County.

“She was too sick to come to Illinois. She seemed fine in Hollywood,” theater attorney Kevin Mahoney said.

Hollywood Palms CEO Ted Bulthaup testified Tuesday that his company lost more than $42,000 in ticket reimbursements, lost food and beverage revenue, promotional costs and non-refundable airfare for Jameson — about $2,500 for her first-class seat — and coach seats for her assistant and her manager.

But Bulthaup said the greater loss was the free advertising. His theaters routinely book celebrity appearances and then calculate the dollar value of pre-event publicity — things like media interviews and mentions, he said.

He estimated that Hollywood Palms lost almost $250,000 in publicity value when Jameson backed out. The judge called that number “highly speculative,” though he did award the theater $50,000 for lost publicity, in addition to $42,000 for its other losses.

“Zombie Strippers!” tells the story of a government experiment that goes awry and causes a group of Nebraskans, including the employees of a local strip club, to be turned into flesh-eating monsters. The 2008 movie’s tagline was “They’ll dance for a fee, but devour you for free.”

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(Ward is a special correspondent.)

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