Howard Stern sidekick and self-described "topnotch, prime-time, center-stage celebrity" Elegant Elliot Offen runs 14 miles a day in ladies' lingerie. In New York, he swears, people on the street cheer and salivate over his bodacious curves. "You won't see a sexy, sexy statuesque physique like mine on any real woman," he brags.
Bellboys in Miami Beach were not so enthusiastic. The 59-year-old, who tends to refer to himself in third person, was filming a TV show in town last year. He prepaid for a room at the Holiday Inn on Collins Avenue while wearing — what else? — a black bustier and thong with pantyhose as he checked in. He ended up in jail.
Now, a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court claims hotel management had him falsely arrested because of his passion for panties. He seeks $21 million for psychological damage.
"These people behaved like troglodytes and loup-garous," Elegant says, his voice growing louder with every word. "I'm talking about H-A-T-E!"
Miami Beach cops got the call just after 9 p.m. October 8, 2008. A customer was "causing other guests to feel uncomfortable," according to the police report. Hotel managers asked the man-in-thong to leave, but he "refused and became irate," so officers took him to county jail. (A judge dropped the case the following week.)
Elegant tells the story differently. His version: Bellboys threatened him physically and called him fag in Spanish. So he called cops for help.
The lawsuit, filed December 15, asserts the hotel and its parent company, InterContinental Hotels Group, is guilty of "ambushing, sandbagging, and jailing" Elegant. Employees harbor a "deep-seated, free-floating, gun-slinging hatred," the suit states.
The whole ordeal has since ripped open Elegant's raging psychological wounds. For one, it has caused his obsessive-compulsive disorder to flare. "I wake up screaming in the middle of the night," he says, adding that $21 million in punitive damages is a reasonable request. "Do you know what a good psychologist costs in New York City?"