WITNESS says strip club owner arranged sex for top athletes - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

WITNESS says strip club owner arranged sex for top athletes

Updated:
ATLANTA (AP) _ The owner of a top Atlanta strip club regularly set up sex shows and paid dancers to have sex with professional athletes, a former club manager testified at a federal racketeering trial.

Gold Club owner Steve Kaplan played host to members of the New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers when the basketball teams were in town, Thomas ``Ziggy'' Sicignano testified Monday.

Sicignano said Kaplan paid dancers to have sex with former Knicks Patrick Ewing and John Starks, Reggie Miller and Antonio Davis of the Pacers and Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones.

Kaplan and six others face racketeering charges, including accusations of credit card fraud, prostitution, loansharking and funneling money to the Gambino crime family.

Ewing and other Knicks visited the club for a private party in 1997, much to the delight of Kaplan, a New York native whose support for the team bordered on obsessive, Sicignano said.

The law _ as well as club rules _ prohibits dancers from having physical contact with patrons, he said.

``We were saying: 'There are no rules tonight. The owner's in the room,''' he said.

Sicignano said Kaplan paid dancers to put on a sex show and then have sex with Starks and three Knicks players in hotel rooms in Atlanta, and later did the same for Miller, Davis and other Pacers in 1997.

Spokesmen for the Knicks, the NBA and individual athletes all declined to comment when the allegations were raised earlier this year.

Spokesmen for the Knicks, the NBA and individual athletes all declined to comment when the allegations were raised earlier this year.

On Monday, Davis' agent, Bill Duffy, told The Associated Press the Pacer ``adamantly denied'' ever having sex with a club dancer. Duffy said he did not know if Davis had ever visited the club.

Miller, through a team spokesman, told The Indianapolis Star's Web Site on Monday that the accusations were ``absolutely false.''

``It's utterly ridiculous,'' Miller said. ``What next? I was probably on the grassy knoll.''

The club grosses about dlrs 20 million a year. Prosecutors have said Kaplan bilked customers with ``outrageous'' credit card bills.

Defense attorneys said their clients were simply smart businessmen who made millions of honest dollars by catering to high-profile guests.

Sicignano said dancers were trained to press customers to order expensive bottles of champagne and then spill it to sell more. They also were taught to tell customers they were hungry or cold to encourage them to order pricey meals or shell out dlrs 600 to buy a leather jacket from the club.

Kaplan justified scamming customers by saying it was his way of getting back at men who tried to use his dancers for sex, Sicignano said.

``He had no problem taking their money,'' he said. ``He'll do whatever it takes to get the club where it is going to make money, where it's going to be beneficial to him and then everyone else.''
Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.