A million-dollar-a-year sex worker is suing the state of Nevada for loss of income, demanding she be allowed to practice her profession amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Alice Little – who has been called the “highest paid” and most successful sex worker in America – filed the claim against the state’s governor Stephen S. Sislak last month and revealed this week the case was finally set for a hearing.
The Irish-born Little began sex work in 2016, and by 2018 was claiming earnings of more than $US1 million ($A1.35 million) over the calendar year.
But that came to a shuddering halt on March 17 this year, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced lockdowns across Nevada with Little’s employer, the Moonlite BunnyRanch brothel among the many businesses to close.
And despite some restrictions being lifted in May – with even casinos back in action by the first week of June – Nevada’s legal brothel industry remains closed.
“Nevada’s governor has unfairly kept the legal brothels closed while allowing other high-contact businesses, such as massage parlors, spas, and salons, to reopen,” Little wrote in a GoFundMe post requesting donations for her court action.
In her claim against the governor, Little labels the decision not to allow brothels to reopen as “particularly arbitrary given that Governor Sisolak announced the resumption of all other economic activity .. on August 3.”
“He has, without any rational basis, decided to single out brothels.”
The claim notes the governor could allow sex workers to work from home, “suspending the requirement that sex workers ply their trade only in licensed brothels”, but has chosen not to do so.
Little wants her profession to be allowed to work, but also makes a claim for unspecified compensation for the damage to her business as well as the loss of her constitutional rights.
However the issue does not seem to be on Sisolak’s agenda.
“We’re going to have to look at getting kids back into schools before we look at getting folks back into brothels,” he told The Nevada Independent a few weeks before Little’s suit was filed.
“We’ll be addressing it sometime, certainly, but it’s not in the immediate future.”
Adding insult to financial injury, the paper also reports that because sex workers are regarded as contractors, they have found it difficult to obtain unemployment benefits.
Meanwhile, as her hearing looms, Little has raised $US8404 of her $US50,000 GoFundMe goal to fund the action.