The action claims the CBS news show sent at least three “agents or employees” to register for a golf outing at a New Jersey club and repeatedly question exotic dancers working the event about illegal drugs and sexual acts. An organizer’s attempts to intervene led to his heart attack and current comatose state, according to the suit, which was filed by the stricken man’s father. The club where the outing was held has also been accused of negligence.
A lawsuit filed against CBS’ “Inside Edition” claims that the TV news show’s harassment of “exotic dancers” during a golf outing at a New Jersey golf course last year caused a heart attack that left a man comatose, the Cherry Hill Courier-Post reported.
“This is a case about an overzealous and out-of-control media defendant,” says the suit, which claims “Inside Edition” schemed to produce “a salacious story” about a company that sponsored the golf outing last year, according to the Courier-Post report.
The June 4, 2018 event at Beckett Golf Club in Woolwich, N.J., included women stationed along the course “as greeters, scorekeepers, hole caddies and to provide beverages,” the suit notes.
It contends at least three “agents or employees” of the CBS show registered as “benign golf participants,” then repeatedly asked the women about drugs and sex, with “handheld cameras presumably rolling,” the Courier-Post reported.
The suit claims the golfers affiliated with “Inside Edition” questioned the women about “how many sex acts they had already performed on the golf course, and what types of illegal drugs had they used and sold while out on the golf course.”
An event organizer, Theodore Pagano Jr., then asked the golfers and an unidentified “newscaster” to leave the event, according to the suit, as reported by the Courier-Post.
But that did not stop a “verbal onslaught of allegations towards [Pagano] and others about non-existent illegal drugs and non-existent prostitution,” according to the suit.
Pagano became “extremely visibly shaken, red and upset,” the lawsuit claims, and then suffered “catastrophic cardiac arrest.”
Pagano now “remains comatose as a result of this hypoxic event,” according to the suit, the Courier-Post reported.
The suit does not identify the sponsor of the June 4 event and Pagano’s attorney could not be reached for comment, the Courier-Post reported.
But the website for Club Risque, a Philadelphia strip club, notes the business held its annual golf outing at Beckett on that day, the Courier-Post reported.
“June 4th is going to be a Monday to remember for golf fans and Club Risqué regulars!” said the website, noting that “the Risque Girls” and club bartenders would be at Beckett “for a sexy round of Risque Golf!”
“Our lovely lewd ladies will be on the putting green with you, offering you encouragement, and maybe some sexy hijinks on the side!” the website said.
Pagano has been identified as a Club Risque employee in unrelated lawsuits brought by dancers over wage disputes, the Courier-Post reported.
A representative of “Inside Edition” told the Courier-Post the show “disputes the allegations and will vigorously contest the lawsuit in court.”
The suit—brought on Pagano’s behalf by his father, Theodore Pagano Sr.—asserts the golfers’ questions were intended “to generate a ‘story,’ not to honestly cover any spontaneously newsworthy event,” the Courier-Post reported.
The suit does not say if “Inside Edition” aired a report about the golf outing, according to the Courier-Post report.
It seeks unspecified damages from the TV news show—described as being known “regrettably, for sensationalist ‘journalists’ —for alleged intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, the Courier-Post reported.
The suit, which names no individual defendants, also accuses Beckett Golf Club of negligence, the Courier-Post reported. It acknowledges that two Beckett employees asked the golfers to leave, but contends the club should have called its own security personnel or police when they remained.
A club representative did not respond to requests for comment on the suit, which was filed January 30 in federal court.