CARSON CITY, NV—Dennis Hof, owner of The Moonlite Bunny Ranch brothel in Carson City, Nevada and star of HBO’s Cathouse, is threatening a lawsuit against the city of Oakland, California over their removal of a billboard advertising his restaurant and bar. The Bunny Ranch Bar is Hof’s latest venture in expanding his brand, and he has launched an advertising campaign in multiple cities to direct traffic to the family-friendly establishment which sits a mile away from the actual Bunny Ranch brothel.
“I think it’s a sad day in America when a City Council person can take down a sign for a restaurant and a bar,” Hof told KPIX-5 News in San Francisco.
Oakland City Council members erroneously charged that the billboard was an advertisement for the brothel, and admitted to news cameras that they had brazenly organized citizens to pressure the billboard company to take down the advertisement.
“Several times the ad company told us they were just advertising the restaurant, but we all know better,” charged Oakland City Councilmember Libby Schaaf.
Hof, who owns a total of seven licensed brothels throughout Nevada, said that he believes that the city councilpersons’ actions were illegal, and that “content based restriction on speech” is a violation of his civil liberties.
“I’ve hired First Amendment lawyers and we’re looking into it getting all the details. And if they made a mistake, they’re going to pay,” Hof stated.
Hof explained that he understands the “Bunny Ranch” name is also identifiable with other of his enterprises, including a storage complex, an office park, a planned wedding chapel and now the aforementioned cigar bar and restaurant.
“This type of corporate diversification is hardly unprecedented,” Hof noted. “Playboy magazine, for example, is a publication that features nude women and cannot be purchased in most retail stores. However, I can find their rabbit head logo and ‘Playboy’ name on a wide selection of products that are carried in any given store in any mall across the United States. My brand’s broadening visibility and diverse appeal is no different.”
Hof said he’s planning to bring Bunny Ranch Bars to other markets nationwide, and that the battle for his First Amendment rights in Oakland is an important litmus test for entering other cities throughout the country. “I’m going to see justice done in Oakland so that not only can I continue to enjoy the right to advertise my legal businesses there, but I will also know that I will have a precedent of victory against the oppression that I have suffered.
“You’ve got sex problems, sex trafficking everywhere in Oakland; worry about that," he added. "Clean up your own neighborhood before you worry about a guy who has a restaurant bar sign.”
For further information, email Marc Medoff, Director of Media Operations for The Moonlite Bunny Ranch, or call 775-246-5683 ext. 21.