TV Friendly

Fired stripper journalist Sarah Tressler gets on the pole for TV news, takes the moral ground in lawsuit

Fired stripper journalist Sarah Tressler gets on the pole for TV news, takes the moral ground in lawsuit

"Hey, it's me . . . Sarah Tressler," Houston's favorite stripper-journalist announced as she spun around a pole during a recorded interview with Shern-Min Chow of KHOU-11 News.

Since her stripping gig was outed by the Houston Press in late March, the former society reporter and Bayou City native has been no stranger to the television spotlight with a three-minute bit on Good Morning America in the wake of her firing from the Houston Chronicle as well as a recent interview with Inside Edition about her federal equal employment opportunity discrimination case against the Hearst newspaper.

“Even if [the Chronicle] found it, I didn’t think it would b e an issue," Tressler told KHOU.

For nearly three years, Tressler captured the trials and tribulations of the life of an exotic dancer on her Diary of a Angry Stripper website, which remained relatively under wraps while she pursued her full-time work as a news reporter. Tressler didn't use her name on the site, but did post pictures in which her face was clearly visible.

“Even if [the Chronicle] found it, I didn’t think it would be an issue," Tressler told KHOU about the website, which became the evidence the newspaper used to terminate her employment for not listing her stripping work when she was hired by the paper.

The Angry Stripper blog is in the process of becoming an ebook thanks to Houston-based Di Angelo Publications, the company behind rapper Slim Thug's forthcoming book, How to Survive in a Recession. KHOU mentioned a national tour in August, where Tressler would be "signing books by day and, yes, stripping at night."

“It’s a customer-service industry. It’s basically sales,” Tressler told Shern-Min Chow, who was quick to note that the former reporter once pulled in $2,000 in a single evening of dancing.

The Pole & The Book

CultureMap spoke with publisher Sequoia Di Angelo to hear more about Tressler's sting of media appearances as well as the dancer's work with noted attorney Gloria Allred to file a federal complaint against the Houston Chronicle.

"Just to clear the record," Di Angelo said, "Sarah's legal case has never been about money, but about the underlying moral issue. She also not getting huge book deal, contrary to a number of reports."

"Sarah's legal case has never been about money, but about the underlying moral issue," said Sequoia Di Angelo, Tressler's book publisher. 

The publisher explained that the idea of turning the Angry Stripper blog into a book had "been in the works long before the story broke." Once Tressler's second line of work was out in the open, however, the two decided to move forward with plans to publish a book from her experiences inside the world of exotic dancing.

"Right now, though, we're concentrating more on the case than we are on the book," Di Angelo said, noting that news outlets still seem less interested in the writer's firing than they are by the novelty of a stripper-journalist.

Tressler and Allred managed to bring the legal issue to the forefront during an interview with Inside Edition on Tuesday.

"When they decided to fire me over something that a rival newspaper [the Houston Press] reported, which is clearly just a dig at the Chronicle, I was very crestfallen," Tressler said on TV.

"There are many young women who are attempting to improve their lives, and they are working as dancers," Allred said. "I don't think they should be ashamed of it."

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With a book and high-profile federal complaint against the Houston Chronicle, stripper-journalist Sarah Tressler appeared on both Inside Edition and KHOU-11 News this week. KHOU Houston/Channel 11