A lawsuit filed by gay-porn company Bel Ami against gay-cruise charter RSVP Vacations has been dismissed by a federal judge in Los Angeles.
Back in June, nearly a dozen Bel Ami porn stars were hired by RSVP to “mix and mingle” with passengers on a gay cruise through the Mediterranean.
Bel Ami maintains it was assured it could film the performers frolicking non-sexually around the ship for a proposed documentary.
But rumors started circling before the boat even left port and, when the boys attracted too much attention, Bel Ami claims RSVP kicked them off the Nieuw Amsterdam and stranded them in gay-unfriendly Tunisia.
Bel Ami and the models filed suit against RSVP and Holland America cruise line for breach of contract, fraud, intentional interference with contract, negligence, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
But RSVP maintains the porn posse left voluntarily because they were denied “professional” filming rights:
“… contrary to Plaintiffs’ contention, RSVP did not enter into any oral or written agreements with Plaintiffs … other than the Reservation Request Forms signed by each of the individual Plaintiffs … Before the cruise, RSVP merely communicated to Plaintiffs filming restrictions that would be applicable to any passengers on the cruise.
“Moreover, RSVP did not “force” the BAOL models and employees off the cruise ship at any time. Instead, once the cruise began, it became evident that Plaintiffs were violating applicable passenger Terms and Conditions by engaging in professional, staged photography and videotaping on the ship, and RSVP then asked Plaintiffs to stop. When Plaintiffs persisted in their professional photography and videotaping despite repeated requests by RSVP to stop, RSVP had further discussions with Plaintiffs.
In one of those discussions, Plaintiffs Rudko Benko and Lukas Gombik stated that Plaintiffs were considering voluntarily leaving the cruise ship. RSVP then gave Plaintiffs a choice to either: a) turn over their camera equipment for the duration of the cruise and remain on the cruise ship; or b) leave the cruise ship at a convenient time. The choice was Plaintiffs’ to make.”
RSVP maintains it even warned Bel Ami against disembarking in Tunisia, and instead suggested they wait until the next port of call, the more amenable Palermo, Italy.
Regardless of whose version of this racy Rashomon is true, the court tossed the case because of a lack of jurisdiction:
“Plaintiffs, all of whom are citizens of a foreign state, have sued Holland America, a Dutch company, and RSVP, LLC, a California limited liability company. Plaintiffs allege breach of contract and tort claims arising out of a Mediterranean cruise.
“It is well-established that there is no diversity jurisdiction where there are foreign entities on both sides of an action, without presence of citizens of a state on both sides …
This isn’t the first trouble RSVP has faced in the Middle East: Earlier this year, a planned excursion to Morocco was surreptitiously canceled.