Missouri Lt. Gov. and tea party favorite denies obsession with stripper

By Kase Wickman
Thursday, August 18, 2011 13:41 EDT
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Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R) continues to defend himself against allegations that he was close with a former stripper and early nineties Penthouse Pet, Tammy Chapman. His most recent defense strategies have involved denial, religion and attempts to smear the publication that first discovered his dirty strip club laundry.

St. Louis alt-weekly newspaper The Riverfront Times published a photograph of Kinder with Chapman earlier this month, which led to revelations from Chapman about Kinder’s strip club proclivities.

Chapman said that Kinder had been obsessed with her when she was a stripper 16 years ago, visiting the club twice weekly, showering her with treats, attention and tips and suggesting that she come to his political events. She cut off contact, uncomfortable with the attention and the rough treatment she said Kinder displayed during lap dances. When Chapman, then a bartender at Verlin’s, a bar that advertises “pantsless parties” and often has bartenders sling drinks in their underwear, saw him at Verlin’s last winter his fascination was rekindled. He suggested that she move into his condo, the rent of which is paid by Kinder’s campaign committee.

Kinder’s team has denied the whole ordeal. He knew Chapman, he said, but had not had contact with her since the mid-nineties. A tea party favorite, Kinder is widely expected to run for governor in 2012.

“I came to realize that this is not consistent with my upbringing. I’m a Christian,” Kinder told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about his decision to stop going to the strip club.

He also claimed that he had only stopped at Verlin’s to use the restroom, and that Chapman had recognized him and asked for a photograph when he ordered a glass of wine.

“This woman’s bizarre story is not true,” he said in a statement.

On conservative Dana Loesch’s radio show, Kinder theorized that the RFT was working with his Democratic Party political opponents to bring him down. He called the story a “hit piece” and has refused to be interviewed by the RFT.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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