Models: Tampa strip club stole our photos

- Three models are suing strip club Tampa Gold Club after they say their pictures were stolen and used to promote the club.

The women say they were not paid, they didn't give permission and their reputations have been damaged because they're not strippers.

Jessica Burciaga, Eva Pepaj and Leilani Dowding, whose images have appeared in magazines Maxim, and Playboy, as well as movies like James Franco's "Interior. Leather Bar.," say their pictures were used without payment or permission to advertise the strip club and job openings for exotic dancers. 

"You can't just take the image of a person and use it to promote your business without first their authority and their consent," said lawyer Joseph Casas.

A lawsuit filed in federal court alleges Tampa Gold Club stole the images of models Jessica Burciaga, Eva Pepaj and Leilani Dowding. A search of the club's social media accounts and website show the images have been used since at least 2013 and some were still up as of Friday, April 8, 2016.

An advertisement posted on Twitter by Tampa Gold Club (@TampaGoldClub) in August, 2013, contains a photo of Dowding with the text "BECOME A GOLD CLUB GIRL TODAY! Now Hiring Select Females For Entertainer and / or Promotional Modeling."

"What we're seeing is a consistent pattern of abusive behavior in which they violate the publicity rights, the privacy rights of our models," said Casas.

The models together are seeking more than $500,000 in damages.

Tampa Gold Club has not responded to the allegations outlined in the lawsuit.

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