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Playboy, Barred From Hotel, Interviews At Gas Station

October 28, 1988

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Only one woman showed up when a Playboy magazine photographer set up shop at a gas station to interview female Providence College students for a feature on the ″Women of the Big East.″

Photographer David Mecey had hoped to meet with several students Thursday from the Roman Catholic college for the layout, scheduled for the April 1989 issue.

He had to move his operation from a hotel to a minivan parked at a gas station across the street when the hotel announced he would be allowed to sleep, but not conduct business, on the premises. College officials also said he was not welcome on campus, and refused to place his ad in the student newspaper.

His assistant, Ric Moore, said he wasn’t surprised by the poor turnout.

″There were television cameras everywhere,″ he said, referring to interest by local media to the magazine’s controversial feature.

Mecey originally intended to run interviews through today, but said he may continue into the weekend because of his troubles.

He arrived in Rhode Island almost a day late after a hotel in Braintree, Mass., decided not to allow Playboy to stay or to interview there when it meets with Boston College students in mid-November, said Jeff Cohen, Playboy’s managing photo editor.

″I thought coming to the East, people would be more liberal,″ said Lisa Martensen, Playboy’s Dallas-based makeup artist.

No nude photographs were planned during the interviews, but the final feature will include nude and seminude pictures of about 20 women from schools in the Big East athletic conference, said Cohen.

The women will be paid on a sliding scale depending upon their level of undress. Mecey said most will receive $500 to $700.

The magazine decided against seeking the cooperation of administrators at any of Big East schools it will visit, including the Catholic colleges of Villanova University in Villanova, Pa., Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., and St. John’s University in New York.

Officials at several of the colleges urged students not to participate in the photo layout.

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