A group of lap-dancers who were secretly filmed at a strip club have dropped their privacy case.
Campaigners commissioned the secret filming which showed dancers sexually touching customers and each other at Spearmint Rhino in Sheffield.
The women were supported by the club in taking legal action, claiming their human rights had been breached.
However, the case has been discontinued with Spearmint Rhino agreeing to pay almost £50,000 in costs.
The campaign group Not Buying It said it hoped the outcome would “embolden others to come forward”.
Chief executive Sasha Rakoff said: “We are very happy to work with anyone currently or previously in the industry to see how we can challenge strip clubs and the councils that license them.”
It is understood that the club felt it could have won the case but decided not to pursue it because of added financial limitations due to the coronavirus crisis. All lap-dancing clubs remain closed as part of measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
Investigators are understood to have visited the strip club, as well as another in London, wearing glasses containing hidden cameras.
Dancers at the club, which is near Sheffield Hallam University, said it was “humiliating” to find out they had been filmed and that it made them feel “violated”.
But Not Buying It – which campaigns against strip clubs – said this was “the only means to provide hard evidence”.
The footage was shown to the council in support of calls to have the club’s licence removed.
Campaigners later marched through the city calling for the club to stay open, with some supporters comparing the footage to “revenge porn”.
A group of nine workers from the club then went to court claiming publication of the footage would infringe their human right to respect for private life.
Speaking after proceedings were discontinued, Dr Rakoff said: “We were never going to, and never will, make this evidence public in any shape or form.”
She said that Not Buying It had “already destroyed all footage that we have been able to” following relevant licensing hearings.
Spearmint Rhino in Sheffield had its licence renewed last year, however campaigners are challenging this with a judicial review expected to be heard later this year.
Sheffield Council said a hearing into whether the club’s licence should be renewed would take place following the outcome of this judicial review.
A spokesperson said: “Spearmint Rhino is currently closed under government regulations issued due to Covid-19, however, once the restrictions are lifted, the venue may reopen.”
Spearmint Rhino and the dancers have been approached for a response but were unavailable for comment.