Is Bruce Nahin a Fake Chippendales Co-founder?

by Jacque “Jack” Merlot and Anna Schwartz
March 3, 2022, revised March 31, 2023

Bruce Nahin fake co-founder as seen on "Curse of the Chippendales"
Image of a recent documentary appearance of Bruce Nahin the from “Curse of the Chippendales”.

PLEASE NOTE: Any underlined statement is a hyperlink to reference material. Just click on the line and the reference page will pop up. The intention of this article is to tell the truth about Chippendales and it is not intended to harm Mr Nahin. Great care has been taken to double check the facts and use documented research. This article has been vetted by legal professionals and revised by a new student, Anna Schwartz.

Steve Banerjee is the established owner and founder of the original Chippendales. Then, who is Bruce Nahin and why is he claiming to be the co-owner and co-founder of the iconic Chippendales 45 years later? Is the claim real or fake?

Nahin’s Unsubstantiated Wikipedia Claims

Bruce Nahin calls himself a film producer. But Mr Nahin also claims to be the co-founder of the original Chippendales 35 years ago. Mr Nahin use to be a Los Angeles attorney. This was his original connection to Chippendales. He later changed his role with Chippendales on Wikipedia by claiming he was a co-founder and partner to Steve Banerjee, the established owner and founder of the revolutionary, male strip club who murdered New York producer, Nick De Noia for stealing his business.

Starting in 2008, Mr Nahin made multiple, unverified, wild claims (6) on Wikipedia. (8) Everything from being Mr Banerjee’s partner to being a comedy creator who takes credit without proof for inspiring the famous Patrick Swayze / Chris Farley SNL parody on Chippendales. (7) In 2013, Mr Nahin claims he conceived the SNL comedy riding horseback with the late Mr Swayze on Mr Nahin’s horse ranch. More about the horse ranch later. Wikipedia took this down along with other absurd statements from Mr Nahin.

Other times, Mr Nahin asserts that he was a Chippendales co-founder and Mr Banerejee’s partner who was close to being murdered by Mr Banerjee in New York right after the hit on Mr De Noia even though Mr Banerjee would have had 6 years to murder Mr Nahin before his arrest yet nothing happened. Mr Nahin then inserts his IMDb link for prospective producers to contact him. The link and the far fetched stories were removed by Wikipedia because their web site is not for pitching movie ideas with no basis in fact. (4) Wikipedia already states Mr Banerjee is the founder of Chippendales. (12) So why does Mr Nahin keep making false claims about his role at Chippendales? Is he really the co-owner and co-founder of Chippendales?

Bruce Nahin Bing panel
Bruce Nahin: Chippendales co-founder or fake founder?

Wikipedia Closes Chippendales Page

Because the Chippendales Wikipedia page has been tampered with so often by Mr Nahin and others, it is now restricted due to “continual vandalism” and “disruptive editing“. Wikipedia shuts down their pages when editors misuse their web site. Mr Nahin was the most frequent culprit sometimes making 10 or more changes to the Chippendales page in one night adding his name next to Chippendales founder, Steve Banerjee in various capacities without citations.

Wikipedia prohibits editors from misusing their web site out ofconflict of interest for “self-promotion“. In other words, you cannot misuse a trusted encyclopedia website to hype your career with unsubstantiated claims. Wikipedia calls making up facts “original research” i.e., bogus. Wikipedia does not allow editors to just tell stories without source material otherwise they would not be a reliable source of information.

Because the most recent editorial tampering incident with Mr Nahin occurred in February 2022, Wikipedia again closed the page for a year. All of this begged a set of questions: Why are there no photographs, witnesses, press reports or citations supporting Mr Nahin’s various Chippendales claims from the 1970’s, 80’s or 90’s if he were making all these statements on Wikipedia? And why did Mr Nahin persist in misusing the Wikipedia Chippendales page? And was Mr Nahin really just a lawyer for Chippendales?

Nahin plants unverified claims on Wikipedia
Bruce Nahin makes multiple unverified insertions or phony claims on Wikipedia. Wikipedia marked up his insertions and removed them. Wikipedia states it is an encyclopedia for research offering verified information only. They do not allow story telling or hyping your life. Wikipedia removes unfounded claims and narratives when editors are misusing the site for self promotion like Mr Nahin did. Why did Mr Nahin do it?

Nahin: “L.A.’s Corrupt Lawyer”

According to Mr Nahin, before he was a film producer of over 300 film titles that he self-verified on, Mr Nahin was Steve Banerjee’s lawyer after living next door to the nightclub as a law student when Mr Banerjee bought the club in 1977. But we could not find any public record of this. According to the California BAR and press reports Mr Nahin was only a lawyer until 2004, when as reported by the L.A. Times (2), Mr Nahin was convicted (9)(11) for a multi-million-dollar, felony embezzlement scam that stole millions from elderly people to buy expensive horses.

“I know a lot of people are going to sleep better knowing he’s in prison,” Deputy Dist. Atty. Ed Miller said.

This actual January 30, 2004, L.A. Times quote can be viewed by clicking this link.

Nahin’s Two Million Dollar Swindle

In 2003 the L.A. Times wrote, “From 1998 to 2000, Nahin, 50, swindled nearly $2 million from nine clients, including two elderly women who lost their life savings.” And according to the L.A. Times in 2003, Mr Nahin was one of L.A.’s corrupt lawyers. (10) When arrested it was reported Mr Nahin had only eight dollars in his bank account and the horses on the ranch were dying of malnourishment too feeble to sell for restitution. It would appear Mr Nahin was guilty of animal abuse and elderly abuse, but was he also guilty of beefcake abuse? Whereas Mr Nahin is no longer an attorney due to financial fraud, could he still be the co-owner and co-founder of Chippendales 20 years later?

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Bruce Nahin - Chippendales Co-Founder or Fake Founder?
Bruce Nahin changes his role at Chippendales in the last 20 years. In 1998 Mr Nahin was just Banerjee’s lawyer. Is he a co-founder or fake founder? And why does he claim to still be an attorney?

Nahin Changes His Story 20 Years Later

In a 1998 British documentary “Chippendales – A Secret History”, four years after Mr Banerjee’s death, Bruce Nahin states in the film that he was just “Banerjee’s former lawyer”. Mr Nahin never claims to be a Chippendales co-founder or partner. 20 years later, in a 2018 NBC/Oxygen TV show “Mysteries & Scandals”, Mr Nahin changes his story to being the Chippendales attorney and co-founder. According to A founder is someone who comes up with an idea and transforms the business in a new direction. Co-founder implies an equal relationship with Mr Banerjee in ownership and decision making, when in fact Mr Nahin was hired only as a lawyer to handle Mr Banerjee’s legal issues.

Nahin Claims FBI Ate My Homework”

Mr Nahin would later claim the FBI took his only proof that he was a partner in Chippendales. Incredible to believe that the FBI would not make a photocopy, or a trained attorney would not have a signed agreement and a receipt for an investment in a multi-million-dollar nightclub then save a copy. Chippendales estimated annual revenue was 35 million dollars. Many ex-employees said that Mr Banerjee would often withhold payment to contractors promising in exchange an undocumented, side interest in his club. Several dancers said this practice was common with Mr Banerjee who was miserly and intentionally slow with his payables.

Whatever the side arrangements were, documents still show Steve Banerjee and his wife were 100% owners of Chippendales having formed a California corporation when he owned gas stations. It was always Banerjee’s nightclub. And everyone we spoke to said Mr Banerjee was a hands-on owner who was often at the club directing employees, the bar, the entertainment. Nobody we spoke to remembered Mr Nahin at the club.

Banerjee owner of Easebe Enterprises
California public records shows the Banerjee’s were owners of the Easebe Enterprises corporation, the entity that owned Chippendales. Easebe is the pronounciation of Steve Banerjee’s initials – “SB”.

One Record of Nahin During Chippendales

And the fact Mr Banerjee was the founder of Chippendales was published multiple times before and upon his 1994 death. There are also countless television news interviews of Mr Banerjee along with L.A. Times articles featuring him as the owner and creator of Chippendales including the recent depiction of Mr Banerjee in Hulu’s “Welcome to Chippendales”. Based on true events no reference was made to Mr Banerjee having a partner or co-founder in the Chippendales series.

In fact, we went through 3 pages of Los Angeles Times archive material from the 1980’s and not only was Mr Banerjee’s name written multiple times as being the Chippendales founder and owner, we could only find one reference to Mr Nahin on February 12, 1985, Los Angeles Times as the representing attorney for owner Steve Banerjee. Even the FBI targeted only Mr Banerjee as the Chippendales owner in a multi-year RICO murder investigation. Why was Mr Nahin never mentioned as the co-owner or co-founder of Chippendales by the FBI?

Bruce Nahin is never documented during it's time of operation.
Multiple articles from the Los Angeles Times listing Steve Banerjee as the founder and owner of Chippendales. But no Bruce Nahin. Why was Nahin never listed as co-founder?

Nahin Claims Authorship Without Proof

Mr Nahin also asserts he was the impetus behind the name “Chippendales” by pointing to a Chippendale chair in Banerjee’s desperate confusion to find a name to replace Destiny II for the new show for women. Yet in a 1986 video interview Mr Banerjee said he came up with the name Chippendales because he “liked the sound”. Mr Nahin did not claim he came up with the name Chippendales until recently because it was also missing from his 1998 film interview. Other Chippendales employees refute Mr Nahin’s revision because the club name was changed before the introduction of the male show for women.

Buckingham Chippendale Gothic Table
Buckingham Chippendale Gothic Table only $1978 on

Is Nahin Really “Higgins”?

We asked former Chippendales model Dan Peterson about Bruce Nahin and his claim. “I didn’t even know who Nahin was. And I knew Steve really well. We were close friends. I can tell you 1000% Banerjee was the owner and founder of Chippendales. It was Steve’s idea. His dream. I think what Nahin is doing is wrong. It’s like saying “Magnum PI” wasn’t about the Tom Selleck character but about Higgins. It’s nonsense. Banerjee worked too hard not to be given full credit for what he built.”

Another Chippendales model who does not know Bruce Nahin.
Ex-Chippendales model, Dan Peterson knew Banerjee. Worked for Banerjee. Never knew Bruce Nahin existed.

Nahin Creates Fake Producer Credit

On a tip, we discovered that Mr Nahin was not only taking credit for the Chippendales concept but also ripping off a production title by posting a fake producer credit for the Chippendales film, “Tall, Dark & Handsome”. Here is the IMDb listing where Mr Nahin lists himself as a producer. Most of is self-verified and is not considered a reliable source by Wikipedia. The credit that Mr Nahin is claiming as producer for Chippendales does not exist in the actual billing block of the film’s video sleeve or in the film itself. We asked some people associated with this film about Nahin’s involvement in the production. The answer according to an unnamed source was “None. Nahin just reviewed the contracts. He didn’t even have an office at Chippendales or any input in it’s creation. And it wasn’t even him. It was his paralegal.” It appears that Mr Nahin was just an outside lawyer working miles away from the Chippendales offices.

Nahin Steals Chippendales Credit
Bruce Nahin openly steals credits for Chippendales listing himself as a producer when there was no such credit. This is the original billing block for the film versus what Nahin claims on IMDb.

I Don’t Believe Nahin

Press accounts from the time reaffirm Mr Banerjee’s ownership and recognition as creator and founder of Chippendales. When we asked Mr Banerjee’s son, Christian Banerjee now a male stripper himself and President of Strippendales about Mr Nahin’s claim to being the Chippendales co-founder. He said, “I don’t believe anything Bruce says. My dad, Steve Banerjee, was the founder of Chippendales.”

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L.A. Times Documents Banerjee as Chippendales Founder
Los Angeles Times documented at the time of Steve Banerjee’s suicide that he was the founder of Chippendales.

The Real Chippendales Founder Dies in Prison

On October 24, 1994, Mr Banerjee died in downtown Federal prison in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times headlined Mr Banerjee as “founder” of the iconic strip club. Clearly that fact was already established well before Mr Nahin’s revisionist claims. New York state court documents, state of California documents (3)(5), media reports (1) in the 80’s, and eyewitness employees like Chippendales ex-employee Bob Green, Chippendales model Dan Peterson and bookkeeper Minh Vu all reaffirm Steve Banerjee as the sole owner, founder and creator of the Chippendales brand.

Digital Gold Rush

The need for true crime stories from Apple, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon has many competing for the digital gold rush. Steve Banerjee’s murder story is one of the FBI’s most challenging cases. So being the center of that story would be worth some money. Was Mr Nahin trying to carve a role for himself to partake in the digital gold rush? We cannot be certain, but we welcome proof from Mr Nahin that he was co-founder of the original Chippendales. Until then we stand on the facts and await the next illusion.

Steve Banerjee deserves full credit for creating and founding this iconic brand even though he was a murderer.  After all, nobody is perfect.

We would like to thank several people in the research of this article. Ms Minh Vu. Mr Dan Peterson, Mr Roy Sutton, and Mr Christian Banerjee. All documents were publicly accessible. Disclaimer: Although facts were researched as well as possible, this is a journalism project with an attempt to seek the truth in a fair manner. Because this is a 40 year old controversy we do not claim to know everything that has transpired. And, we welcome corrections via our website or email address. This article was revised on April 5, 2022 with the addition of more corroborating information.

(1)  “Chippendale Club Owner Kills Himself”Los Angeles Times. 1994-10-25

(2) “Lawyer Gets 10 Years for Embezzling Millions”Los Angeles Times. 2004-1-30.

(3) “Easebe Enterprises”State of California ABC license. 1977-JAN

(4) [publicly available information through website]

(5) “Easebe Enterprises”State of California Incorporation. 1996-JUL

(6) [publicly available information through website]

(7) [publicly available information through website]

(8) [publicly available information through website. Wikipedia documents every record of every editor on every page for perpetuity. These records are available to the public. There are too many entries by Mr Nahin over a decade to log every one for this article. However we did review hundreds of entries going back to 2007 and found Mr Nahin’s account under Bruce.nahin and “meatpuppets” or “sock puppets” using IP and mobile IPs and NNahin. You can click the link and review yourself.]

(9) California BAR 2001 “Resignation with charges pending 00-Q-14743 “

(10) “D.A. Gets Tough on Corrupt Attorneys”Los Angeles Times. 2003-11-10

(11)  Bruce Nahin Attorney BAR discipline 2001-JAN

(12) [publicly available information through website]

CORRECTION: In the article we incorrectly stated that Mr Nahin had no newspaper references during the period of time that Chippendales was in operation. This was incorrect. There was a Los Angeles Times article dated February 12, 1985 featuring Mr Nahin as the Chippendales attorney in a discrimination lawsuit. Still, there was no mention of Mr Nahin being a Chippendales owner or partner. However the correction was made to the article because we strive for accuracy and fairness.

And at the end of this story we printed Mr Nahin’s rebuttal to the points mentioned in the article. Mr Nahin’s rebuittal is also published on a separate page. Click this link.

2023 04 06 e1680832831404 Anna Schwartz is a first year journalism student at the New School of Journalism, NYC. A year after our story first broke, we have seen a lot of interest for more information about Bruce Nahin and his mysterious and fantastic story with the iconic male strip club, Chippendales. Since then, Mr Nahin has written us a rebuttal with more information to follow up on. In the interest of fairness, we printed that rebuttal after our story and also on a separate page. Anna is picking up and revising the story of Mr Nahin and Chippendales from the original story written by graduating student Jacque Merlot. You can contact Ms Schwartz at

10 Replies to “Is Bruce Nahin a Fake Chippendales Co-founder?”

  1. Bruce is my former brother-in-law. He was involved with the Chippendales. Steve had a hit put out on him and a few other men, but Nick was the first to be murdered. My nephew is named after Nick. The SNL piece may be embellished, but Patrick Swayze did visit my sister’s home and ride horses with my sister and Bruce after my nephew was in a film with Mr. Swayze. Bruce also went to college with Steven Spielberg. My brother-in-law did not tell me this, but an employee someone from Universal did, the animatronic shark in the back lot tour was named Bruce, supposedly after Mr. Nahin. My former BIL may have some tall tales, but the Chippendales is not one of them. I remember how traumatic Nick’s murder was and how panicked my sister was after finding out her husband was supposed to be next.

    1. You know smoking crack is illegal? Lol. Went to school with Spielberg. Jaws shark named after your brother in law. Lol. Sure. Guess you said it all when you said he tells tall tales. Funny to hear the ex brother-in-law stand up for the guy.

    2. This is total bs. Banerjee killed DeNoia in 1987. He was arrested in 1993. That’s six years he had to murder Nahin if he were “next”. I knew Nahin back then. He was totally inconsequential to the Chippendales story or it’s development. Nahin has been side hustling that he’s a big shot producer and integral to Chippendales for years. His record as an attorney says it all. And by the way, Mr BIL, Spielberg went to school at Long Beach State. I know for a fact Nahin did not go to Long Beach State.

  2. We can discuss titles all day.
    Steve and I spoke every night at 11 pm about his day,Irene several times a week.The New York partners several times a week and Nick every morning. Steve and David and I lunched often
    My dad lent Steve 10,000 to buy his Cpa partner out.When the note was due Steve said he had no money and paid in Stock.
    At a trial between the Denoia estate and Irene we offered her the stock back to help raise the kids,lindsay and Christian.She accepted on the record.
    I was at their births.Nick and I were the only Chippendales group there in Buffalo.We took Steve to Niagra and his first stip club ever,or so he said and hated it.

    I was present when Paul Snyder pitched the idea of male stripping.This was not Steves idea.
    The show stunk as did Paul.Richard Barsh transfotmed the show with his script and as MC .Nick practically reinvented the show not Steve.The folks at Fours Eyes designed and photographed the calendar.
    Am I a founder or just someone there from the beginning who provided imput and money. For a decade. Titles who cares about labels
    Bob Green his brother and I had many interactions during the esrly years.Peterson makeup was done by my ex wife on ocassion.
    Steve downplayed Pauls role after his death as he did most other people such as Barsh,Four Eyes,Nick and I so what.He was a narcissist murderer,extorter,and liar Believing his words means nothing.

    Records: all taken by FBI sorry dont have them But do speak to the folks above as to my involvement.Screw titles
    Oh Swayze kept some of his horses for a time at my home and I rode at lemon grove his ranch.
    No I didnt write sketch never said I did,I just pitched Patrick on using our name on Snl for something.The sketch wasnt mine,never said it was
    Finally Steve had no idea the club had Chippendales furniture.Gabe installed all that.I was frustrated in an interminable mtg with steve,tom don ben and gabe and thru out the nsme Steve lijed it because it sounded sophisticated
    So what!!
    So reader you judge the facts,draw your conclusions

  3. If you truly are journalism students and truly seek to inform
    I assume youll post my side of the story as just submitted.Otherwise you are just tabloid journalists seeking clicks not truth

  4. I 1st met Steve Why was studying for the bar exam. He needed help buying out his partner’s share My dad and I prepared paperwork for this purpose Steve asked borrow money from my dad to partner and it was time to pay him back Steve offered shares instead of money We took those shares. During a trial between Nick’s family and Irene those shares came in to play and we offer to return those shares to Irene Christian and Lindsey her 2 children This was on the court record The corporate records and all other such documents were taken by the FBI and regrettably there are no records But I’m honestly not into titles I’ll tell my story and you can decide whether I was simply involved in the creation development and marketing of chippenills or founder because I don’t care
    I was present when Paul pitched Steve the idea of the male exotic dancersteve had never been to a strip joint until Nick and I took him to one in Niagara at his wedding
    Only Nick and I were present at the wedding
    I was also present at the birth of both of Steve’s kids and my family and Steve’s family would celebrate all our children’s birthdays together Christmas Easter and the like
    I spoke to Steve Knightley at 11 o’clock to go over the date and oftentimes I’d have lunch with him and David
    Irene and I spoke several times a week and Nick and I every morning several times a week I would talk to the New York joint venturers with whom I still speak
    Steve did not come up with the idea of Chippendale’s Names or strippers the idea Came from Pau
    Steve had no idea that the club had chippendales furniture the furniture was provided by Gabe During what seemed like a very long Meeting about what to call a new club I got frustrated and suggested they call it after the furniture Steve loves the idea because he said it rolled off the mouth
    Paul was Is horrible as MC and put on a very boring show and the whole idea would have died right there we’re not for barsh and his brilliant MC work and is brilliantly crafted script. Nick transformed the show way beyond Steve’s capabilities Although shooting at calendar was Steve’s idea all the brilliance of the original calendars came from Tom and Kate not steve
    It doesn’t surprise me that in a taped interview recorded in the house to prepare Steve for talking on talk shows that Steve would take credit for everything Steve lies when Paul died he denied really even knowing the man So yes he takes credit for everything but it’s not true
    Our family celebrated all the major holidays together and the children’s birthdays I was present when Steve’s children were born steve and Irene were at my wedding we were close I wasn’t just a lawyer who he occasionally used I traveled extensively for chip windows in meetings and being the eyes of chippenills in New York often
    I was paid not an hourly wage or paid for particular legal work I was on profit sharing
    Dorothy introduced me to Hugh Hefner who taught me about trade mark licensing
    So whether I was a founder or just somebody who was there like Forrest gump who provided input and ideas and a lot of hard work and a lot of time that I suppose is subjective And the reader can decide whether or not I was a founder or just someone there
    I do know that we have hundreds of founding fathers in the United States not just our presidents people like John Hancock Samuel Adams Paul revere Benjamin Franklin are all considered founders but they were not presidents in the United States
    Every person who won’t stop at the time of an IPO is considered a founder not just the person in control So I will leave the question of title to the reader.. Who honestly cares
    As far as Bob green and his brother I knew them well when they were dish jockeys and other things that destiny 2 and I had some interactions with them through the ears as far as Dan I don’t know if I had any interactions with a dancer and model my wife did make up for many of them so perhaps she added interactions with him I don’t know

    With respect to the Patrick Swayze idea there was a time patrick boarded horses at our house and many a time he and I would ride at his property on Lemon Grove he told me he’d be on Saturday night live and I pitched him on the idea of mentioning Chippendale somehow that’s all I get with the so called sketch I’ve never claimed to write it
    So I’ll leave The Choice to the readers assuming the moderator allows an opinion other than their own to be posted
    If they are truly journalist students trying to seek the truth then I would hope they would allow my comments to appear against their posts and what the public decide the truth if in fact anyone gives a d***

    1. I am a journalism student. I had two questions: if you are/were a lawyer albeit disbarred, would you not A: write contracts and keep legal and financial documents that would prove your story; and B: if you went to college with Steven Spielberg would you not know how to spell? Thank you.

  5. Wow great journalists
    I was told to approach and see if youd publish a rebuttal
    You dont care about the truth as i revealed to you..if you did youd publish my rebuttal to your tabloid hit so doing youve exhibited actual malice.
    So youve been given a chance to avoid defamation lawsuit

    1. We published your rebuttal Mr Nahin. We only reported the facts. We did not make a conclusion about your story. Regards.

      We also sent you an email 9 months ago asking for a comment on our reporting and your side of the story. We never received a response. We are happy to have your side of the story. Regards.

  6. I read Bruce Nahin’s reply. He admits he has no documentation to support owning Chippendales. I doubt the FBI takes your documentation and stock certificates away. He doesn’t have anything except a lot of anecdotal hogwash.

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