Carmen Electra is embroiled in a bitter dispute with an Austrian businessman who invited her to this year's (06) Vienna Opera Ball, because she thought he was paying her for sex.

Each year Richard Lugner pays a celebrity beauty to accompany him to the prestigious society event - previous 'dates' include, Joan Collins, IVANA TRUMP SOPHIA LOREN, Grace Jones, SARAH, Duchess of York, Raquel Welch, Faye Dunaway, Farrah Fawcett, Pamela Anderson and ANDI MacDOWELL.

But Electra has never heard of Lugner and believed the invitation to Thursday's (02MAR06) bash to be an indecent proposal. She forced her benefactor to present a statutory declaration that he didn't eye an intimate date and banned him from picking her up at Vienna airport.

Lugner says, "She thought I was looking for a sexual adventure and emphasised that she is a married woman. Every year I go with my wife and my child and pick up my guest at the airport. My wife is always with me. I even told her management that she can bring her husband (rocker Dave Navarro) as well, even if he's all covered with tattoos and you can only see his fingernails."

When the pair eventually met, their date was brief - Electra fled the ball at midnight, claiming her tight low-cut dress was too long to waltz in.

Now Lugner has vowed to be more selective with his date choices, insisting no more young beauties: "They are too stressful. Next year, I will choose someone who's a little bit older."

But organisers of the event want Lugner to stop bringing superstars to the ball completely. Organisers COUNTESS CHRISTL SCHONFELDT says, "Lugner terribly harms the image of the ball with his horrible broads."