When two queens of SA’s strip club industry got into an almighty brawl over costs to “import” Russian strippers, broken glass flew around and charges of assault, then counter-charges, were laid.
The two antagonists in Monday’s catfight, Glynis Carroll and Natalia Mordvinova, were quarrelling over payment for Russians strippers relocating here.
Carroll is the girlfriend of Arthur Calamaras, managing director of Adult World SA, while Mordvinova is the former girlfriend of slain underworld boss Cyril Beeka, who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in March last year. Mordvinova and Beeka have a two-year-old child, Timor.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said an assault charge was laid at the Cape Town police station in Buitenkant Street on Tuesday, and was being investigated.
The story goes that Mordvinova, a Russian citizen who owns an agency recruiting foreign strippers, including Russians, owes Carroll money for arranging SA permits for the women. The fight apparently erupted when Mordvinova confronted Carroll at Carroll’s company, Relocation Online, in Constantiaberg House, Plein Street, in the city centre.
Sources told Weekend Argus that both women were injured, and that Carroll laid a countercharge after Mordvinova had charged her with assault.
Calamaras, SA’s sole adult retailer, who holds a monopoly with 70 Adult World stores distributing pornographic films, adult sex toys and sexy lingerie nationwide, confirmed he witnessed the scrap. He said “Glynis threw an ashtray on the table and cut herself”.
When asked for comment by Weekend Argus, Carroll said: “I want nothing to do with that Russian.”
Calamaris said Mordvinova became “hysterical” when Carroll confronted her with an outstanding bill she refuses to pay - and “things escalated”.
“It was really very childish behaviour on her (Mordvinova’s) part. It was ridiculous. Security had to be called to try to get her out of the office when she refused to leave.
She owes a small amount. It’s not worth the fuss she made.”
A close friend of Mordvinova’s, who asked that his name be withheld, claimed in turn that Mordvinova had to have stitches to her hand after she was cut by glass, then hit on the head with a broken ashtray.
“From what I understand, Natalia tried to sort out the bill, but Glynis got so mad she grabbed her by her hair and hit her with an ashtray on the head. A glass on the table also cut Natalia’s hand, and she had to get stitches,” the friend said.
“It’s sad. They were once so close, but now that Cyril is gone, it’s chaos. He kept the peace and ensured everyone remained civil.”
Mordvinova first made headlines during Beeka’s funeral service in April last year when she stepped on to the stage and made a speech in his honour, while holding their then 11-month-old son in her arms.
“When I look into Timor’s eyes, I see that Cyril will live through Timor,” she told the audience, many of whom – including Beeka’s wife of 16 years, Sonia Beeka - were left cringing.
Mordvinova also reportedly defended her affair with Beeka by boasting after the funeral that SA men were allowed to have more than one woman.
Mordvinova and Carroll had been in a partnership alongside Beeka - that continued after his murder - to relocate strippers from their home countries to work in local strip clubs. But tensions appear to have reached breaking point this week.
Mordvinova refused to answer calls or SMSes.
It emerged in April that Mordvinova was named before Beeka’s death as a possible partner in a business run by Beeka and his former business partner, Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir, and Krejcir’s wife Katarina.
She acknowledged then that life was hard without Beeka, but that she and her son would stay in SA.
Foreign strippers have been under pressure over the past few years, with the arrest of 35, including some from Russia, at the Arabesque strip club in Burg Street in June, 2010.
Another group, from Ukraine, Russia and Romania, were arrested in November last year at the Mavericks strip club in Barrack Street.