Strip bar owner: Dancers deserve respect

Strip bar owner: Dancers deserve respect

The owner of an Auckland strip club says it's a "shame" some men don't treat dancers with respect.

Members of rugby team the Chiefs allegedly sexually assaulted and threw gravel a stripper at an end-of-season 'Mad Monday' party.

"There was real peer pressure on them to perform like mongrels," the woman - known as Scarlette - told Story.

"They were touching me between the legs very forcefully - I was hit twice and then [a player] grabbed my vagina, to which I told him, 'No, you don't do that' and I pulled his hands away.

"He went straight back to doing it - I'm well trained in martial arts, and I use what I know - I kicked his head into the ground and put him into a chokehold and punched him in the genitals, and said, 'You don't touch me there, please'."

Brian Le Gros from Auckland strip bar The White House says if the allegations are true, it's an insult to the woman's dignity.

"All the dancers that I've ever dealt with have been of good character. They're not sort of cheap hussies that people think because they take their clothes off… they just don't have a problem with taking their clothes off."

He says stripping isn't all fun and games for the dancers.

"I've seen girls touched, and it really does affect them… Just like you get one or two dancers who are of not good character, you get one or two rugby players that are of not good character and away they go - they start assuming they can do things that really are illegal."

The Chiefs' major sponsor Gallagher has taken a different view, spokesperson Margaret Comer saying the team's behaviour was "not nice", but hiring a stripper was a "stupid damn thing to do".

"If a woman takes her clothes off and walks around in a group of men, what are we supposed to do if one of them tries to touch her?" she told Fairfax Media.

It's believed the alleged incident happened on the same night that lock Michael Allardice shouted homophobic slurs at a pub patron.

Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman says the allegations are being investigated by the club's management and New Zealand Rugby.