Elegant Elliot Offen, the Howard Stern sidekick whose bodacious body earned him 20 hours in a Miami jail cell, is still fighting the local hotel he says had him "falsely imprisoned." But now the hotel is trying to get the case thrown out, leaving Offen's $21 million lawsuit hanging by a g-string.
Offen, who is well known in New York for running around Manhattan in ladies' lingerie, was arrested October 8, 2008, at the Holiday Inn on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. A police report stated he was "causing other guests to feel uncomfortable," but Offen was eventually released without charge. He says hotel personnel saw him dressed in "a girl's black g-string exercise body attire," called him a "fag," and told him to "get out of the hotel."
Worse, Offen says the abuse opened psychological scars he has been dealing with for more than two decades.
"I'm cut open, reburied, and relapsed, psychologically speaking," he says. "That night, I was lynched, singed, torpedoed, hit with a tornado. They had no probable cause, no rhyme or reason. I did zero [wrong], and I was a lawfully paying customer."
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In March, a Manhattan judge rejected Holidan Inn's motion to dismiss Offen's lawsuit but said the case would be best decided in Florida. Earlier this month, Holiday Inn's attorneys filed a similar attempt in Miami-Dade, but that motion has yet to be decided upon. Lawyers representing the hotel did not immediately respond to interview requests.
Offen says his goal is to make sure the hotel "never targets another homosexual, transsexual, transvestite, or transgender" individual.
"I have been dressed as a girl for 20 years in broad daylight in a lot of bigger cities than Miami," he says. "But nothing like this has ever happened to me anywhere else."