19-year-old nude dancer sues Florida over law restricting age at adult entertainment businesses


A 19-year-old nude dancer alleges a new Florida law raising the age limit on who is employed by adult entertainment businesses infringes on her constitutional rights.

Serenity Michelle Bushey sued Monday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, saying the law violates her First Amendment right to free speech. Two adult entertainment businesses, including the corporation that owns the club where Bushey worked, are also plaintiffs.

The law, HB 7063, which is aimed at preventing human trafficking, includes a ban on employing anyone under age 21 at adult entertainment businesses. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill in May, which went into effect Monday.

According to the suit, the lack of any type of “grandfather clause” in the bill has forced such businesses to fire anyone under age 21 immediately. As a result, Bushey has lost her job as a nude performer at Café Risqué.

“In addition to Bushey, at least eight other adult performers who were over the age of eighteen, but under the age of twenty-one, are no longer able to perform at Café Risque because of HB 7063,” the suit said.

The suit alleges that the law violates the right to free speech by restricting Bushey from being able to perform her art and make a living, adding that the state did not consider alternatives that would advance state interests without putting a burden on First Amendment rights.

“Plaintiffs maintain that the human body is a thing of beauty which, when combined with music and rhythmic motion in the form of dance, conveys an important message of eroticism,” the suit said.

The law also prevents legal-age adults who are not yet 21 from working in other capacities that do not involve nude entertainment, the suit says.

A corporation called Sinsations, which owns an adult store called Exotic Fantasies, joined the suit, alleging that it is labeled an adult entertainment business by the state even though it does not engage in live entertainment. The store sells adult videos, lingerie, clothing, accessories and other adult novelty items.

Although all of the employees at Exotic Fantasies are fully clothed “at all times,” it is subject to the same law. The suit distinguished the store from the types of businesses where pornography might be viewed on the premises.

“Exotic Fantasies operates what the industry refers to as a ‘percentage store’ because only a modest percentage of its stock constitutes ‘sexually oriented material,'” the suit says.

Kylie Mason, communications director for the state attorney general, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the office would defend the law.

The attorney general’s office could not be reached for comment Thursday because of the Fourth of July holiday. DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Doha Madani

Doha Madani is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News. Pronouns: she/her.

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“A 19-year-old nude dancer alleges that a new Florida law raising the age limit on who is employed by adult entertainment businesses infringes on her constitutional rights.”

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