With the release of Hulus Welcome to ChippendalesMany true crime fans are wondering: where is Steve Banerjee now?
The Hulu Miniseries Welcome to Chippendales follows the life of Somer (better known as Steve) Banerjee and his rise to become the founding mogul of Chippendales – a captivating and booming male exotic dancer business in the ’80s that focused on female pleasure. Banerjee (played by Kumail Nunjani) enjoyed life as the head of the most successful male stripper empire, but things took a turn when his business partner Nick De Noia (played by Murray Bartlett) rose to fame after he bid for the touring rights . Banerjee hired de Noia and was eventually caught for conspiring to murder him. But what exactly happened after his arrest? Here’s what happened to Steve Banerjee and where he is now.
Where is Steve Banerjee now?
So where is Steve Banerjee now? After De Noia was found fatally shot in the face in his Times Square office, many did not expect Banerjee to be a suspect. However, after the rights were bought back from De Noia’s family, all signs pointed to him. He was arrested in September 1993 and pleaded guilty to racketeering, which included organizing the murder of De Noia. However, on October 23, 1994, the day before Banerjee was sentenced, he committed suicide in his cell.
Banerjee carried out the assassination plot in 1987 by hiring Ray Colon, a former Palm Springs police officer and entertainer, and his accomplice Gilbert Rivera Lopez, who agreed to kill De Noia for $25,000. Banerjee and De Noia became business partners after Banerjee saw the success of opening the Los Angeles location and hired the Emmy-winning choreographer to help open the New York location. After several locations emerged, Banerjee and De Noia split the business in half – with Banerjee overseeing the permanent locations and De Noia handling the touring aspect of the company. The tour company turned out to be very successful, which made Banerjee jealous and he wanted to eliminate his business partner.
After De Noia’s death, Banerjee still had blood for his competitors. He also allegedly hired Colon to uncover the murders of former Chippendale dancers Read Scot and Steve White, who started their own company. They eventually became the founders of the London club Adonis and were in direct competition with the Banerjee brand. In the documentation from A&E Secrets of the Chippendales, Colon also confessed to Banarjee and asked him to burn down Oskos, a Los Angeles club owned by his friends. In the footage obtained from The sun, he said: “He asked me if I could burn it down. I could understand why he wanted it [burned], because it was full, but it was gigantic – three times the size of Chippendales. So he threw down $7,000…I just took it.”
Things stalled when Colon hired a hitman using the alias “Strawberry” and flew all the way to London to continue the Adonis murders, but ended up getting cold feet before he could inject Scot and White with cyanide. Strawberry turned himself in to the FBI and brought down Colon in the process. After serving seven months in prison, Colon aided the FBI by obtaining confessions from Banerjee in Switzerland.
Banerjee was arrested and charged with conspiracy to violate the federal homicide law and five counts of causing others to travel in foreign trade and use foreign trade facilities to further the assassination program, according to UPI. Initially, Banerjee pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to the AP, and conviction on all charges would have resulted in life in prison and a $1.75 million fine. He eventually pleaded guilty to counts of attempted arson, racketeering and contract killing. He struck a plea deal that would see his sentence reduced to 26 years but he would lose his Chippendales fortune.
At the time, a federal prosecutor told a federal judge that Banerjee told a whistleblower he planned to “leave the country or kill himself” if arrested. Reonard McFadden, an executive assistant to the director of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center, said in a statement at the time that Banerjee was depressed but didn’t look like he might want to kill himself. “Banerjee, like every other inmate, had been questioned by a staff psychologist. There was no indication he was suicidal.”
The man who actually carried out the murder, Lopez, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. While Colon had a reduced sentence since he worked with the FBI to frame Banerjee. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and contract killing and was released two years after Banerjee’s death in 1996.
As an Indian immigrant who used to be a gas station attendant, Banerjee still led a normal family life. He married his wife Irene in the 1980s, whom actress Annaleigh Ashford said was difficult to emulate as there is little about her public life. “I hadn’t done any research because there is nothing on this woman,” she said. “So the only thing I had to work through was the given circumstances of the situation, the real events. It was very important to me to create a person who is genuinely human and complicated and yet lives in the world of the late ’70s and ’80s.” Irene inherited the Chippendales business along with his entire fortune after his death.
The couple had two children, a daughter and a son, Christian, who eventually decided to continue his father’s legacy by becoming a stripper. In conversation with the New York Post, he said of his father and what he would have thought of his endeavors today with his own company, Strippendales: “People have a lot of opinions and that’s okay. He was a good guy…I always had this connection to my father, even when he wasn’t alive, through Chippendales. I think he would want to push me in that direction. He would want to continue his legacy through his son.”
Welcome to Chippendales can be viewed on Hulu. Here’s how to watch it for free.
base for the Hulu series, Welcome to Chippendales, with Kumail Nanjiani, Murray Bartlett, Annaleigh Ashford, Dan Stevens and Juliette Lewis, Deadly Dance tells the fascinating story of Steve Banerjee, founder and owner of LA’s amazing nightclub Chippendales. In the post-pill, pre-AIDS, and sex LA club scene of the 1980s, celebrities, desperate housewives, and wild bachelors all converged in one place: Chippendales — and behind it all was arson, mob, and murder.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call or text 988 to contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The Lifeline offers 24/7 confidential support for people experiencing suicidal crises or emotional distress.
https://stylecaster.com/steve-banerjee-now/ Where is Steve Banerjee Now? Is Somen Still in Jail After Chippendales?