Steve Banerjee's wife: What happened to Irene Banerjee?

Steve Banerjee's wife: What happened to Irene Banerjee?

Somen 'Steve' Banerjee was an Indian entrepreneur and the founder of Chippendales, the successful touring dance troupe that provides audiences with striptease performances. Steve Banerjee's wife, Irene, supported his business moves and became involved. Who is Irene Banerjee?

Steve Banerjee's photos online
Steve Banerjee is the founder of the massive international dance troupe Chippendales. Photo: @garymwalters on X (formerly Twitter) and on @all_thats_interesting on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: UGC


Steve Banerjee started the Chippendales brand when he bought Destiny II, a failing bar in Los Angeles, California, USA. He renamed the bar Chippendales and hosted adult exotic dancing nights promoted towards women. The entrepreneur went on to open clubs in Denver, Dallas, and New York and had three touring troupes that toured throughout Europe and the USA.

Steve Banerjee's wife's profile summary and bio

Full nameIrene Banerjee/Irene Katherine Tychowskyj (birth name)
Date of birthNovember 10, 1956
Age44 at the time of death (February 8, 2001)
Zodiac signScorpio
Romantic orientationHeterosexual
Current residenceLos Angeles, California, USA, at the time of passing
Current nationalityAmerican
Marital statusDivorced from Steve Banerjee
Hair colourDark blonde/light brown
ChildrenTwo children
ProfessionAccountant and entrepreneur
Native languageEnglish

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Irene Banerjee met her former husband in the late 1970s, soon after Steve opened the thriving club brand. They went on to marry in the 1980s and had two children. However, it was not meant to last, and the two went their separate ways, but not before Steve found himself in hot water with the law. Where is Irene Banerjee now?

What happened to Steve Banerjee's wife?

News of Irene Banerjee’s death broke on February 8, 2001, reaching worldwide newsstands as she was essential in the company's growth and stuck by her husband through his rising success and arrest.

The public was left wondering, 'How did Irene Banerjee die?' The businesswoman died from breast cancer and was a reclusive figure for most of her time with her famous partner and following their divorce.

Chippendales Steve Banerjee
The Chippendales brand grew substantially following its opening, expanding throughout the USA with international tours. Photo: @garymwalters on X (formerly Twitter) (modified by author)
Source: Original

What did Steve Banerjee do?

At the height of Steve's success, he turned to criminal behaviour to stay at the top. He orchestrated the shooting murder of Nick De Noia, a former Chippendales member who went off on his own to start Adonis, a rival dance group.

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An unidentified informant referring to themselves as 'Strawberry' called the FBI in Las Vegas in 1991 about the crime, saying that a man named Augustin Ralph Angel 'Ray' Colon had hired him to kill various members of Adonis. Once they raided his house and found 46 grams of cyanide, he was arrested and joined forces with the FBI.

Ray told the FBI that Steve had wanted Nick De Noia dead following his success and reached out to Ray, who hired accomplice Gilberto Rivera Lopez to carry out the act. Gilberto pulled the trigger, but Ray was near the Chippendales office in New York.

What did Irene do after Steve died?

Irene was left to take over the business after the Chippendales founder, Steve, was arrested in September 1993. Steve pleaded guilty to racketeering and arranging De Noia's murder, but he took his own life in his prison cell on October 23, 1994, before he could be sentenced.

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Irene had filed for divorce around the time he was convicted. However, it is unclear whether the divorce was settled before he died.

Does Irene still own the Chippendales?

Irene owned the brand for an undisclosed period, keeping the now-controversial legacy alive following her separation from her famous partner. However, she sold the company sometime before she died in 2001 and has remained a reclusive figure throughout her life and selling of the brand.

Steve Banerjee’s company Chippendales
The series ‘Welcome to Chippendales’ highlighted the organisation's controversies. Photo: @ATGBrokers and @SSerrew on X (formerly Twitter) (modified by author)
Source: UGC

What happened to Steve Banerjee's fortune?

Somen Banerjee's future and most of his fortune were in jeopardy once he was arrested. The successful businessman's estate was left to his estranged wife, Irene.

How much did Irene Banerjee sell Chippendales for?

Irene sold the company for $2.5 million to a private owner then and has since been reported as record producer Lou Pearlman. Irene Banerjee’s net worth was undisclosed but is believed to align with what she sold the company for.

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Who owns Chippendales now?

Various individuals have owned the brand since Irene first sold it before her passing. Lou ironically followed in his predecessor's footsteps and turned to a life of crime, too, being arrested and imprisoned for fraud and dying in prison on August 19, 2016.

The Sun reported that Chippendales was then purchased by Kevin Denberg and other New York investors, being announced on a now-unreachable website that read:

'Denberg and his team reinvigorate the brand and the industry. Their changes garner the attention of the women of Generation Y.'

How many children did Steve Banerjee have?

Steve Banerjee's children, whom he shared with his wife, include Christian Banerjee and Lindsay Banerjee. Irene Banerjee’s daughter remains out of the limelight, starkly contrasting her brother, Christian.

Christian became a dancer in his father's passion for adult entertainment. He opened his own entertainment company in 2020, called Strippendales. Steve Banerjee's son told the New York Post in March 2022 that:

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'People have a lot of opinions and that's fine. He was a good guy ... I've always had this connection with my dad, even though he wasn't living, through Chippendales. I think he'd want to push me in this direction. He'd want to continue his legacy through his son.'

Steve Banerjee's wife, Irene Banerjee, has been a prominent figure behind the limelight, carrying the brand while her estranged husband was incarcerated. Even after her death, much about Irene's life remained mysterious. But, her undeniably significant role in the brand's success is shown through the series depicting the real story behind the controversial brand.

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Source: Briefly News

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