Somen Banerjee

Somen “Steve” Banerjee
সোমেন বন্দোপাধ্যায়

October 8, 1946
Mumbai, Bombay, India

October 23, 1994(1994-10-23) (aged 48)
Los Angeles, California, United States

Other names

Entrepreneur, Promoter

Known for
founder of Chippendales

Somen “Steve” Banerjee (Bengali: সোমেন বন্দোপাধ্যায়; October 8, 1946 – October 23, 1994) was an Indian American entrepreneur and co-founder of Chippendales. After operating a Mobil gas station and a failed backgammon club, Banerjee bought a failed Los Angeles club named “Destiny II” and turned it into a nightclub that featured female mud wrestling and a “Female Exotic Dancing Night.” It was the first of its kind in the United States. He partnered with Paul Snider (husband and eventual killer of Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten) and attorney Bruce Nahin.
Banerjee wanted to broaden the operation. So, the idea of Chippendales was soon created and, together with Nahin and Nicolas De Noia, was expanded to New York’s Club Magique, London, Hamburg, Philadelphia and Florida. Authorized shows also toured extensively in the U.S., Asia, and Europe.
Banerjee was later charged with having enlisted the aid of Ray Colon, in 1990 and 1991, to help carry out a plot to kill Michael Fullington, a former Chippendales dancer and choreographer, and two other ex-Chippendales dancers, who Banerjee felt were competition to the Chippendales franchise.[1] He was also indicted for allegedly orchestrating the 1987 murder of his former choreographer/partner Nick De Noia.[2] It was also alleged that it was his intent to have Nahin also murdered. He eventually pleaded guilty to attempted arson, racketeering, and murder for hire. He entered into a plea agreement that would have led to 26 years in prison, loss of his share of the Chippendales’ parent company (Nahin retaining his share), and most of his estate.
In the early morning of October 23, 1994, Banerjee was found dead in his cell, having hanged himself. Reports stated that while Banerjee was depressed, it was not thought he would take his own life.[3]
Bollywood actor, producer Salman Khan has announced a biopic on Somen Banerjee’s life and journey of Chippendales. [1]
Biographical depiction[edit]
Actor Naveen Andrews portrayed him in the television movie The Chippendales Murder (2000).[4] Director Tony Scott was reportedly working on a film about Banerjee and the Chippendales sto