A brave young man once said that life serves the risk taker. With that sentiment in mind, I told my attorney to skip mediation and go straight to arbitration. Less than a year before that, I had resolved matters with two other clubs-- Hustler and Deja Vu-- rather than go to arbitration. I thought since I won King of Diamonds, maybe arbitration with Seville would result in a win. I also didn't think Seville was offering as much settlement money as they should have been. It is for these reasons that arbitration happened. Life did not serve my risk taking in this instance.
If there was not an arbitration clause in the contract, I might have had the good sense to settle. I would have been informed ahead of time that Melanie, Serafina and Jessica were going to testify. Making an informed decision with regards to evidence is very important when deciding to settle, but arbitration does not allow for a discovery period.
Then again, jury pools full of sex worker hating prejudice and misogynists could have ruined a court trial too if it came to that. If it came to that, at least an appeal would be possible.
Frank Abramson is not a judge, and arbitration is not a constitutional way of resolving injustices. Sadly, Frank Abramson was the person with power to decide the outcome of my Seville matter. Sadly, we live in a world where unconstitutional policies and practices are abundant.
Abramson had pathways to rule in my favor. For example, he could have kept in mind that Melanie Christiance was the manager's wife with a biased and privileged experience. He could have considered the inconsistency of her testimony. He could have considered the fact that I was frequently at Seville and never met Serafina Richman. He could have thought about how so much of Jessica Gilbert's testimony was consistent with my arguments, despite her attempt to help Seville. He could have spent more time listening to my recordings. Maybe his love of Melanie Christiance's investments got in the way of all of that. I don't really know. Frank Abramson buys season tickets to the Vikings games, and I cannot fathom why someone would do that either. If I looked through the Minneapolis obituaries tomorrow and saw Frank Abramson's name, I would feel nothing but savory satisfaction that he no longer breathes.
Throughout writing The Seville Series, I have worried about the fact that I am giving ideas to other clubs on how to win a case. Some of the tactics I have described are now being used by other clubs to exploit and mislead dancers. However, getting the information to dancers is more important and will be advantageous to strippers who may want to litigate in the future. It is helpful to know what to look out for.
In the wreckage that The Seville Series has left, Jeremy Chase has deleted and revived his facebook account a couple times. He put his twitter account on private and changed the privacy settings of his facebook. As of writing this, he is using the pseudonym “Eagan Svensk.”
I can go on forever with posts and analysis for The Seville Series, but there is other ground to cover and other developments in stripper labor rights beyond Seville. If there are any future updates with regards to Seville or Jeremy Chase, they will be posted.
I have corrected typos on The Seville Series where I have found them and will be transferring any Joel-related issues to Joel Wheelock Watch. If you have any questions or concerns with The Seville Series, feel free to leave an email with your name and contact information, rather than troll me.
After Seville fired me, I went to Deja Vu, who fired me after three weeks when they realized who I am. In late 2016, I started working at a club in a more rural part of Minnesota, with dancers who I attempted to form alliances with. I tried to be more socially interactive than I had been at previous Minnesota clubs. In a couple of instances, I tried to get them to hang out with me outside of work. This was because I understood that it is important to socialize outside of work to have allies in a labor struggle. I often wonder what would have happened if I just would have hung out with Jessica Gilbert a time or two outside of work, rather than being evasive about her invites.
In national Minnesota news during The Seville Series, senator Al Franken was outed as a sexual predator and subsequently left his job. It was interesting to read all of the social media posts denying the truth. I wasn't surprised at all that liberals in Minnesota would vote for such a guy and support him even after his victims outed him. Rapist Bill Clinton is still very popular among liberals. I bring this up, because so many people from Seville are from the left end of the political spectrum and identify with the very leftist ideals that I promote on my website. For example, Melanie Christiance's daughter Mickayla Bakke is a freshly graduated, college educated social justice warrior who has put up a crappily written website in hopes of destigmatizing the sex industry. On her pitifully produced site, she interviews Megan Chase about stealing customers from dancers. The site generally says great things about Seville, without ever mentioning the labor struggles of dancers or calling out the sexual predators in her own social circles.
My advice to dancers who are interested in labor rights is to be suspicious of people like the Seville crowd, and don't trust the corporate media. If you notice patterns or that something isn't quite right, investigate deeper and trust your instincts. It is likely the liberal institutions that claim to be progressive are actually very similar to their conservative counterparts.
Losing a strip club lawsuit is depressing, because it means the oppressor has won. Future dancers will probably continue to suffer, while people on The Seville Series keep their jobs. There is a poem I like to think about while dancing in an unpleasant strip club environment. It is called Invictus and was written by the 1800's English poet William Ernest Henley. He was not thinking of a strip club while writing it, but it is fitting and keeps me going in times of sadness. It is helpful to remember the first two stanzas for litigious or striking strippers who want to be resilient and stay on the war path:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.