Texas reporter alleges firing over stripper work

Debate over woman's legal case


A stripper who became a newspaper reporter has filed a complaint against the Houston Chronicle, alleging the paper fired her for the exposes she did at her old job.

Sarah Tressler's gender discrimination complaint, filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claims she was fired by the newspaper in March after working as a society reporter for just two months. Tressler, 30, previously worked as a freelance reporter.

“I was notified … that I was being terminated because my prior activity as an adult dancer was not disclosed when I applied for the job,” the complaint reads. “I believe that the stated reason for my termination was pretextual in that I answered the questions that were put to me truthfully in connection with my application for employment. The true reason from my termination was discrimination on account of my gender.”

Tressler, who runs a blog called “Diary of an Angry Stripper,” announced the filing Thursday during a press conference in Los Angeles with attorney Gloria Allred. She was outed as an “angry stripper” by the Houston Press’ Richard Connelly in a blog posting on March 26.

“I was very upset that I was fired because I had been told by many editors that I was doing a good job,” Tressler said in a statement obtained by “I don’t believe that I should have been terminated because of a claim that I did not disclose on my employment application that I worked as an exotic dancer. There was no question on the form that covered my dancing.”

A Houston Chronicle spokeswoman told that the newspaper had not seen the complaint and declined to comment.


Tressler, according to her statement, plans to continue her career in journalism.

“I earned an M.A. in Journalism and have been an instructor in writing for print and digital media for the School of Communications at the University of Houston,” the statement reads. “I feel that women should not be denied other employment because they have worked as exotic dancers.”

Allred said Tressler had been employed full-time by the newspaper from Jan. 19 to March 27. She earned her journalism degree from New York University in 2009 and later worked as a stringer for US Weekly in Los Angeles.

“In order to support herself Sarah started performing as an exotic dancer beginning when she was 22 years old,” Allred said in a statement. “Her only other job at that time was as a barista at Starbucks earning $7.25 an hour. She needed the extra money to help pay for college and other expenses.”

Allred said Tressler worked as an independent contractor when she danced at exotic clubs and therefore did not need to list that activity when she applied for the full-time newspaper position.

“Sarah’s work as a dancer is lawful and is not a crime,” Allred’s statement continued. “It does not, has not and will not affect her ability to perform her job as a journalist.”