COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Former Playboy centerfold Stacy Arthur has filed a $70 million lawsuit against the magazine and others alleging she was raped and sodomized by three Playboy employees and that inaction by the magazine led to the death of her husband.
Arthur, who is now living in Columbus and working as a model, claims two security guards and a butler drugged, then raped and sodomized her on Oct. 6, 1991, at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles.
About three weeks later, her husband James Arthur, 37, was shot and killed in Bellefontaine, Ohio, by James Lindberg, 35, Woodland, Calif., who had met Mrs. Arthur through a 900 telephone number that allows callers to talk to Playmates.
In her lawsuit filed Wednesday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Arthur claims Playboy's negligence led to both attacks.
Playboy 'recklessly breached the duty of care owed to plaintiff Stacy Arthur and her family...when they should have known of the danger or threat of danger,' the suit said.
Playboy Enterprises Inc., which fired Arthur after she made the rape allegations and criticized the magazine last February, says the lawsuit has no merit.
'Playboy made all of its resources available to law enforcement authorities and cooperated with a thorough investigtion. That investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles district attorney determined that no rape or crime occurred,' said Terri Tomcism, director of corporate communications for Playboy.
In the slaying of James Arthur, 'Playboy has absolutely no culpability,' she said.
Lindberg shot and killed Arthur last Oct. 29 on a street in Bellefontaine, where the family lived, and then killed himself.
Arthur, in her suit, accuses Playboy of failing to monitor 900 calls and protecting her and her family from dangerous callers.
Playboy said that Arthur violated company guidelines by having contact outside the 900 line and by accepting gifts from callers.
At $3 per minute, one of Lindberg's telephone bills showed more than $2,800 in calls to the line.
Although no charges were filed against the men accused by Arthur of rape and sodomy, the magazine fired them for violating a company policy of not having sex on the job, a magazine spokesman said.
Arthur is seeking $20 million in compensatory damages, $50 million in punitive damages, and $12,293.19 to cover her husband's burial costs. In addition to the magazine, the former Playboy employees -- Raymond Turner, Rennie Bates and Jerry Fowler -- and the estate of Lindberg were named in the suit.