Since the release of the popular TV series Welcome to Chippendales on Hulu, many people have been eager to learn more about Irene Banerjee’s true story.
In this post, I’ll shed light on the life of Steve Banerjee’s wife from birth to death.
Irene Banerjee’s Early Life
Irene Banerjee was born in November 1956 in Erie County, New York, into a family of seven other members. She had three sisters and two brothers.
Irene Katherine Tychowskyj was her real birth name. Her parents were of Ukrainian origin and relocated to the US, seeking better career opportunities.
Her father was called Wolodymyr Tychowskyj, and he passed away in 1984. Her mother was named Anna Szypka, and she died in 2011.
Irene Banerjee’s Career
Irene Banerjee had a dream of becoming an accountant in Hollywood. So, she worked as an accountant at different companies after finishing her studies.
Later, when she got married to Steve Banerjee, she worked as an accountant for his famous company, Chippendales.
Irene Banerjee’s Family
As you’re probably aware, Irene Banerjee is known for being the wife of Steve Banerjee. They started dating in the 1970s and married nearly ten years later in the early 1980s.
They had two children, Lindsay and Christian. Steve passed away in October 1994, leaving his wife with the two children.
Irene Banerjee’s Net Worth
After her husband died in jail, Banerjee inherited the whole Chippendales estate, including all the assets, money, and possessions.
In 2000, she sold the brand for around $ 2.5 million. One year later, at the time of her death, she had a net worth of nearly $1 million.
What Happened to Irene Banerjee?
One year after inheriting her husband’s famous strip club, Banerjee was diagnosed with breast cancer. Unfortunately, the disease ended her life in 2001.
How Accurate Is the Story of Irene Banerjee in the Welcome to Chippendales TV Series?
After 28 years of Steve Banerjee’s death, the Hulu TV network released the popular series Welcome to Chippendales, which narrates his life story.
The show revolves around Steve Banerjee’s rise and his wife’s role in that wild success.
The eight-episode series also sheds light on the events surrounding the foundation of Chippendales.
Impeachment star Annaleigh Ashford portrays the character of Irene in the series.
That said, as you might have noticed while reading this post, only a little information is available about Irene Banerjee.
The show’s writer, Robert Siegel, added some imaginative details to the character of Irene to provide it with more depth.
Annaleigh Ashford also stated that she prepared for the role without having much information about the real Irene’s story.
She mentioned, “When we work on a show representing real people, we conduct deep research to prepare well for performing the role. However, in the case of Irene, I didn’t find much information about her.”
Irene’s Husband: Steve Banerjee
Somen Banerjee, known better by the name Steve, is an Indian-American entrepreneur born in October 1946. He was the co-founder of the Chippendales male strip club franchise.
The famous entrepreneur was brought up in India in a working-class family. Then, he immigrated to the US in the 1970s.
Banerjee lived in Los Angeles and worked multiple jobs to be able to make a living. He then landed a job as a gas station worker. This was the first decent-paying job for Banerjee since his arrival to the US.
The Foundation of the Chippendales Club
After nine years in the US, Banerjee started a partnership with nightclub promoter, Paul Snider, to launch the Chippendales male strip club in 1979.
The club struggled at the beginning to attract audiences. However, Banerjee managed to transform the club and make it highly desirable for female audiences.
The Indian entrepreneur started to hire charismatic dancers with well-built physiques. He also developed a unique outfit for the dancers to create an identity for the club.
The club’s shows offered a unique blend of choreographed routines, exotic male dancing, and elaborate costumes.
These shows consisted mainly of well-performed dances presented by groups of male performers.
Banerjee’s club targeted women who looked for more liberated adult entertainment shows at that time.
His vision and plans succeeded in attracting that type of audience. As a result, the club achieved massive success in a brief period.
The Expansion of the Club
The Chippendales brand popularity increased wildly between the 1980s and 1990s. At that time, the club expanded beyond its original location in the US to grow into a global live performance phenomenon.
The Chippendales performances took place in numerous cities in the US and around the world. Some of the countries that hosted Chippendales shows were Australia, the UK, and Canada.
The Chippendales club was also featured multiple times over the years on TV. In addition, it achieved massive merchandise sales.
Steve Banerjee’s Crime
Banerjee’s dark side started to appear in 1987. That year, one of Banerjee’s business partners, Nick De Noi, was murdered.
The police investigations unveiled that Banerjee was the one behind that murder because of a business-related dispute with his partner. When Benerjee pleaded guilty, he was sentenced to prison.
While in jail, Banerjee experienced a severe deterioration in his mental state. Eventually, he killed himself in prison in October 1994.
Chippendales Club Now
Despite his death, the influence of Banerjee on the adult entertainment world is still present today.
The Chippendales club has continued to evolve and grow. Now, it’s one of the leading male strip clubs in the US. The club entertains thousands of audiences globally every year.
The club is now run by “a private equity of owners,” according to reports.
Irene Banerjee was the wife of the famous entrepreneur Steve Banerjee, one of the founders of the Chippendales male strip club. She worked as an accountant in the club for years.
Irene inherited the club and sold it for $2.5 million after her husband’s death. Unfortunately, she passed away due to breast cancer only one year after becoming wealthy.