A former Playboy Playmate of the Month, a suitcase model from a game show and two other models are suing a Catonsville-based swingers club, alleging the club’s operators used their images and likenesses without permission to promote the business.

The lawsuit, filed March 19 in the United States District Court District of Maryland, says the unauthorized use of the models’ images is false advertising, a violation of the models’ right to privacy, defamatory and more.

A representative for Tabu Social Club, the venue being sued, said they had not been served any papers as of Friday morning. The club is in the business of “providing an establishment where adults can ‘swap’ partners for purposes of engaging in sexual activities, selling food and alcohol, and providing playrooms for sexual activities to entertain the business’ clientele,” according to the lawsuit.

The four models — Jaime Edmondson Longoria, who competed on “The Amazing Race” and is a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader and Playboy’s January 2010 Playmate of the Month; Ursula Mayes, a suitcase model from “Deal or No Deal”; Ina Schnitzer, a German glamour model; and Lina Posada, a Colombian model and designer — say the club used altered images of them on various social media posts to “mislead potential customers” and imply the models worked at or otherwise endorsed the club.

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The models were never contacted by the club and never gave permission for their images to be used, according to the lawsuit.

The exhibits attached to the civil complaint show screen grabs of the club’s social media posts that allegedly feature the models. One screenshot, for example, shows an allegedly altered image of Longoria in a cropped Baltimore Orioles’ tee-shirt and invites customers to “come watch the boys of summer with us.”

A screenshot from the exhibits of a lawsuit that allegedly shows an unauthorized, altered image of a model.

Another screenshot in the exhibit allegedly shows an altered image of Longoria in a cropped Ravens T-shirt, promoting a “team spirit” night at the club.

Reached by email, Vicki Gonzalez, who identified herself as the chief operating officer of the not-for-profit organization that now runs the club, said a reporter’s questions about the lawsuit were the first they had heard of it.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, every image we have is purchased and licensed through Adobe Stock,” she wrote.

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In another message, Gonzalez wrote that she thought there was a “mix up” because the attorney representing the models in the case, John V. Golaszewski, is based in New York.

After reviewing the images in the lawsuit’s exhibits, Gonzalez said Sunday that the posts featured were from about 10 years ago and “done by a graphic designer from an outside company.”

A screenshot of the Tabu Social website. Tabu is a swingers’ club based in Baltimore County.

She also said that VNR Enterprises LLC, the business that’s named as the operator of Tabu Social Club in the complaint, no longer exists. She said the club has been operating without Richard Gonzalez, who is also named in the lawsuit, since August 2018.

Vicki Gonzalez said the club is now operated under the name GS Events Inc. and is incorporated in Maryland under a section of the tax code covering nonprofits.

Golaszewski, the attorney representing the models, declined to comment on the case. He has been involved in similar lawsuits across the country, including in North Carolina in 2021, in Massachusetts in 2021, New York in 2018 and in Rhode Island in 2020, where he reached a $1.9 million settlement.

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The complaint against Tabu Social Club demands a jury trial and seeks unspecified damages.

This story has been updated to reflect Richard Gonzalez's affiliation with the social club.

Cody Boteler is a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others.

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