Louise Fitzgerald Wightman (née Johnson), also known as Lucy Wightman (born June 18, 1959 in Lake Forest, Illinois), is a former exotic dancer who performed in Boston and Providence the 1970s and 1980s using the stage name Princess Cheyenne. The juxtaposition of her education and class background with her career attracted media attention. In the spring of 2007, she again attracted public interest, this time for being convicted of practicing psychology without a license in two South Shore Massachusetts communities. Currently she works as a writer, photographer, and blogger.
Wightman's dancing career began at age 17, when she was known as Lucy Johnson, and peaked when she was a headliner at the now defunct Naked i Cabaret in Boston's Combat Zone. "Princess Cheyenne" was a local legend in Boston. The Boston Herald would later call her "perhaps the most famous exotic dancer ever in this town." Sports columnist Bill Reynolds called her a "cult figure." Journalist Howard Altman, reminiscing about her in the Philadelphia City Paper, called her "Boston's favorite stripper." Although she is not named, Wightman is described in Lauri Lewin's Combat Zone memoir, Naked is the Best Disguise: My Life as a Stripper.
Using her celebrity from the exotic dancing circuit, Wightman later hosted a sex advice radio talk show called "Ask Princess Cheyenne" on Boston rock station WBCN, and posed for Playboy magazine (as Lucy Johnson) in March 1986. She competed in women's bodybuilding contests, winning the 1993 National Physique Committee Massachusetts championship and later being featured in the May–June 1996 issue of Women's Physique World.
"The thinking man's stripper"
As an articulate woman from a well-to-do family, Wightman did not conform to the popular stereotype of an exotic dancer, and gained a reputation as "the thinking man's stripper." A Boston Globe reporter, writing in 1979, called her "the valedictorian of strippers." The president of the Harvard Lampoon invited her to perform at a banquet in 1982, calling her "a nice and educated girl"; a few years later, a writer in Harvard Magazine noted with interest that Wightman, "one of the premier strippers" in the Combat Zone, was working her way through college. (The Naked i Cabaret, where Wightman performed, proudly advertised its "Totally Nude College Girls Revue.") In Women's Physique World she was described as "Lucy Wightman: 138 I.Q., 285 Bench!"
In 1985, Wightman received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emerson College, and subsequently earned a masters degree in counseling psychology from Lesley University. She then enrolled at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology for five years, from 1996 to 2001. Wightman then withdrew from MSPP, submitted her credits and hours to an online degree program to which she paid $1,299 to receive a doctorate in psychology from Concordia College and University, an online institution based in Dominica that is not recognized for licensure by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During this same period, Wightman founded South Shore Psychology Associates, and began treating patients with psychotherapy in her Norwell office.
In October 2005, Wightman was indicted in Boston, Massachusetts for practicing psychology without a license, filing false health care claims, and engaging in insurance fraud after local FOX affiliate WFXT did an undercover investigation into her therapy practice. Under unusual provisions of Massachusetts law, Wightman had been allowed to practice as a psychotherapist, not as a psychologist. In the indictment, the Commonwealth charged that she never applied for or received a license to practice as a psychologist in Massachusetts, which requires a doctoral degree in psychology from a state-approved program. Wightman was found guilty of 19 of 26 counts and sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation. The six-month sentence was suspended, sparing her prison time. Under the terms of her probation, she was sentenced to one year of home confinement, and was barred from practicing as a psychotherapist for her entire probationary period.
After the breakup with Stevens, Wightman married and divorced twice; she had a daughter named Victoria (Torri) with her second husband Donald Wightman, a Boston police detective and head of security for the rock band Aerosmith. On May 16, 2006, 16 year old Torri died as result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Plympton, Massachusetts.
- Berson, Jessica. "Dancing in the Combat Zone: Striptease, Nostalgia, and Urban Renewal". Academia.edu. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
The manager of the club helped her create a character that would become a local legend....Princess Cheyenne became a star.
- "Vancouverism in Boston & Revisiting 'the Zone'". Radio Boston. February 19, 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
Also this week, there's a new exhibit at the Howard Yezerski Gallery chronicling Boston's bygone red light district: the Combat Zone. We'll visit the exhibit and swap memories with legendary Combat Zone performer Louise Wightman, AKA Princess Cheyenne!
- "Posing as a Psychologist". Fox 25 Undercover.
She's a local legend with a colorful past....Lucy Wightman is better known as Princess Cheyenne, a legendary stripper who first made her mark in Boston decades ago.
- Eagan, Margery (May 18, 2006). "The unbearable loss of all that possibility". The Boston Herald.
- Reynolds, Bill (2009). '78: The Boston Red Sox, A Historic Game, and a Divided City. Penguin. p. 140. ISBN 9781101028780.
- Altman, Howard (May 15, 1997). "Naked City". Philadelphia City Paper. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- O'Brien, Keith (January 22, 2006). "Exposed". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "Lucy Wightman: 138 I.Q., 285 Bench!", Women's Physique World, May 1996, retrieved 6 February 2015
- Saltzman, Jonathan; Ryan, Andrew (May 3, 2007). "Former stripper takes stand in trial". The Boston Globe.
- Richman, Alan (February 12, 1979). "Living Combat Zone's expensive thrills". The Boston Globe.
- Miller, Margo (April 19, 1982). "People & Places". The Boston Globe.
- Bennett, Dr. William I. (1985). "Gustatory Affairs". Harvard Magazine 88: 131.
- Feeney, Mark (March 7, 2010). "A Vanished World of Sex, Squalor, Captured in Black and White". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Leibovich, Lori (January 27, 2006). "Massachusetts shrink outed as former stripper". Salon.com. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
Wightman’s defenders rightly question whether she would have been charged so harshly if it wasn’t for her colorful past.
- "Ex-stripper convicted of posing as psychologist". South Coast Today. Associated Press. 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
- Tatz, Dennis (2007-05-15). "Former stripper avoids time in jail; Gets house arrest for not having psych license". The Patriot Ledger. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
- McMillan, Nancy. "Lucy Was Cat's Meow but When She Bared Her Soul She Got Scratched". People.com. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- Cramer, Maria (May 17, 2006). "An afternoon planned for shopping turns tragic on Route 16 in Plympton". The Boston Globe.