ATLANTA — A former adult dancer has settled a lawsuit against the owners of the nightclub where she worked.
Alison Valente told Channel 2's Dave Huddleston that her settlement is a victory for all working women, no matter the industry.
“Oh, it feels great. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off me,” Valente said.
According to Valente, the last four and a half years have been hell. The former dancer sued Cheetah for back wages, sexual harassment and conspiracy to promote sexual activity.
“I would say on a scale of 1 to 10, of conflict, 10 being the highest, this was unfortunately an 11. But it’s all behind me,” Valente said.
Channel 2 Action News first shared Valente's story in January 2017. She settled with Cheetah on Friday. The club must pay dancers a minimum wage plus tips.
“I believe all entertainers are now classified as employees. So, this gives benefits, wage benefits and protection as an employee,” Valente said.
Even though the company admits no guilt, it agrees to make changes to the VIP area and other exclusive rooms.
Valente said she’s glad she spoke up years before the “Me Too” movement.
“It feels great. I would encourage any woman in an uncomfortable situation at work to speak up and stand up and know that she is not alone,” Valente said.
While waiting for her day in court, Valente graduated from college. She said she also wants to share her story and become an advocate for workplace equality.
“This is America,” she said.
Cheetah sent Channel 2 Action News the following statement:
“We appreciate Ms. Valente bringing workplace environment concerns to our attention. It is The Cheetah and Ms. Valente’s hope that all victims of harassment be encouraged to report any instances of harassment in the future … just like Alison did.”
Cox Media Group