Strip club owner reports politician for libel
Published: 04 Jan 2012 16:13 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Jan 2012 16:13 GMT+01:00
Strip club owner Dragan Bratic, due to open up a club near the hugely popular Swedish ski resort Åre in the north, is suing the local politician who said his new club would “attract criminal elements” for libel and defamation.
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“Why should I be forced to take this kind of shit lying down,” Bratic told local paper Östersundsposten (ÖP).
As The Local reported in December, politicians in the area have been up in arms about the plans since they became public, but as long as Bratic doesn't do anything illegal on the premises there is very little they can do to stop him.
”It is not illegal, but it is inappropriate,” said Eva Hellstrand of the Centre Party to ÖP in December.
The villagers were divided on the issue. Many pointed out that it was perhaps not the best location for a strip joint, situated in an old country inn, between the church and the cemetery in the sleepy little village of Mörsil, home to many families with children.
Hellstrand told the paper that a venture such as Bratic's could draw unwanted elements and criminal activity to the area and said she hoped the police would keep a keen eye on it.
Hellstrand also told the paper that they can't stop the strip club from opening but that they can try to sway public opinion against it. Without clients the club would have to close.
She was joined in her concerns by politicians across the party spectrum.
Bratic thought that it was a huge to do about nothing.
”There are so many things that are wrong in society and at the same time people are upset to see some naked bottoms,” he said at the time.
However, soon after, Bratic reported Eva Hellstrand to the police for libel. He thinks it was wrong of her to talk about his business this way. He feels that he has been insulted.
“She doesn't even know who I am,” he told ÖP.
The comment about criminal activity was what made Bratic see red.
“I have a family and it isn't so nice that they are forced to read this kind of stuff about me in the press,“ he said.
But Bratic is no stranger to controversy.
When in early 2011, Bratic opened a club in another small village in the north of Sweden, he met similar resistance from the local politicians.
And in 2009, Bratic made the headlines after his "McDragan's Drive In!" strip tease bar in Edsvära near Falköping, he was sued by McDonald's, which claimed the club's logo was too similar to that of the fast food giant.
However, this is the first time that Bratic has applied for an alcohol licence at one of his clubs. But the decision is taking its time.
According to the local authority this is due to many being away over the holidays, but Bratic, himself a teetotaller, feels that it is a conscious attempt to slow him down.
“I was promised a license before Christmas. But I am going to open even if they harass me,” he said to the paper.