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07 May 2010 07:23
“If you write anything bad about me, I’ll kill you,” said Lolly Jackson, pointing at me as he placed Teazers water bottles in front of us on his desk. Then he laughed, sat down and said: “Ask me what you want to know.”
Jackson’s office was part harem, part man-cave: the walls were pink, but the pictures that hung on them were of cars, a Teazers-sponsored plane and motorbike racers in Teazers gear.
There were also two photographs—taken by speeding cameras—of Jackson in two of his prized possessions, one of which, a bright yellow Ferrari 360 Modena, stood in the parking lot outside.
In his checked grey-and-white shirt and chinos Jackson looked like a man of leisure after a lunchtime round of golf.
We asked him about rumours that he verbally abused his dancers about their bodies to keep them in shape and even kept a blacklist.
“Of course I have a ‘fat-butt list’,” he said. “If you work for any company, there is a certain way you have to look. Schumacher doesn’t sit in a pub all day.
“You get a girl who comes in here and weighs 52 kilos. Then when she starts making R20 000 a week, she starts buying Lunch Bars and chips and all this kak and, the next thing, she’s got cellulite.
“It’s my duty to the clients to put my foot down. I tell the girls: ‘You will have long nails and I will weigh you once a week’. My girls are ladies, not bitches.”
Jackson went on to say that, contrary to allegations that Teazers offered sex for sale behind the stripping screen, he did not want his dancers having sex in his club—because it was bad for business.
“My business revolves around a fantasy,” he said. “If the guy comes here and keeps trying to get a girl into bed and he can’t, he’ll keep coming back. But if he gets what he wants, he will either leave his wife or, if she [the employee] is a bad lay, the customer won’t come back.”
On this note I asked him about the complaint made against him by Kensington businessman Michael Kalymnios, for which he would have appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday May 6 on charges of extortion, crimen injuria, human trafficking and intimidation.
Kalymnios created a media frenzy earlier this year when he claimed that Jackson wanted him to pay R50 000 to date 23-year-old Ukrainian dancer Yuliana Moshorovs’ka.
Jackson said the money he wanted from Kalymnios was to cover the visa, accommodation and flights, for which Jackson had paid and which Moshorovs’ka had not finished paying off.
“Kalymnios came here and met Yuliana. They went out a few times in January, February last year. Then she said she wanted to go home for a holiday.
“Then she doesn’t come back and, in September, I hear that she’s working at News Café as a manager.”
Kalymnios is the owner of a News Café franchise.
“The whole Greek community phoned me to say, ‘deport this bitch, this man is leaving his wife and kids for her’ ... This is what happens: the guy doesn’t get a bad name, people say the guy left his wife for a Teazers’ girl, then Teazers gets a bad name.”
He leans forward and says slowly: “My girls are not here to get married and they are not here to fuck. My girls are here to work.”
We asked him about prison-like curfews on the dancers—who live in communal houses.
“What’s a curfew?” asked Jackson. “If a girl wants to go out alone, I say, ‘rather wait till the other girls come home and go out with them’ ... My girls have a driver 24/7. One to take them to work and two to take them shopping.”
Jackson said he preferred to employ girls from Russia, Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries because “there are not enough local girls to supply me ... A lot of the local girls are not the savoury kind. Only 55% of my local girls are wholesome. The other 45% have boyfriend problems and drug problems.”
Jackson became worked up when trying to express his commitment to cementingng his clubs’ reputation as one of being “good, clean fun”.
He pulled no punches when it came to his loathing for competitors who allowed dancers to perform “extras”, have sex with clients or date them.
“Dancers do leave me to go to other clubs where they are not as strict as me—and they can make more money because they are fucking clients. But, you know what, if the grass is greener on the other side, it’s because more people are shitting there.”
As we got up to leave, he said: “Come back anytime. Come with your boyfriends. Anything you want to know, come and ask me and I will tell you the truth.”
We set up another interview for the following week, but circumstances conspired to keep it from taking place. We are kicking ourselves.
Read more from Ilham Rawoot
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