DIARY OF A CALL GIRL
Afew years ago I was offered £450,000 to tell the world that Wayne Rooney had paid to sleep with me, but I didn’t take it. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. Whatever impression Rooney and his sort give, escort girls are usually very discreet. A good reputation is invaluable. In my case, I knew that both my work and my home life would suffer if I kissed and told. My family and friends didn’t know I what I did (although some had suspicions) and if word got out, I would forever be thought of as a prostitute. When the papers started sniffing around, I applied for an injunction myself but guess what? I was rejected. So there’s one law for rich men — however badly they behave — and quite another for the women they sleep with. My name appeared in the tabloids when the story about Rooney broke. In an ideal world, no one would ever have known about my secret working life. But the world, as I’ve known it, is anything but ideal.
How could the daughter of a university lecturer end up selling sex? I get sick of being asked this question. But the truth is that being middle-class does not guarantee a happy childhood. My dad and I had a very volatile relationship and my mum just chose to be away from the house as much as possible. In my early teens, I began to run away from home and at 15 I was placed in foster care with a vicar and his wife. For those months I spent with them, I was happy. I had firm principles; I didn’t believe in sex before marriage. But when I was 16, I was moved by social services to live on my own — and that’s when my ideals went out the window.
Istarted dating and, by the time I sat my GCSEs, I was pregnant. I don’t believe in abortion so I had my son and took him to nursery while I finished sixth form. I worked as a sales assistant in Next in the evenings to try to make ends meet. My mistake — and God knows I’ve made enough of them — was to get into debt. I wanted to be normal, to live (and spend) like my girlfriends. That was things started really going wrong. I borrowed £800 to go on holiday, followed by £500
to pay the rent — both from loan sharks. The interest increased by the day, the debts got out of control and I soon owed £2,500. By that time I had bailiffs coming to my door and my landlord asking for sex in lieu of rent (I refused) in a house where the windows were being regularly smashed. Having grown up in a good neighbourhood, it was horribly unlike anything I was used to. That was when I heard from a friend about being an escort: you spent an evening with a man, but you didn’t need to have sex, she said. £1,500 an evening, just to listen to a man drone on! It was an easy decision.
It may sound perverse, but I became an escort because I wasn’t interested in men. I’d known enough violent ones in my time to put me off boyfriends and dating. My clients wanted company, with no strings attached. So did I. At the end of the evening, my clients sometimes asked for more but I usually refused them. In fact I was dropped by my agency for saying ‘goodnight’ before midnight too often. Soon afterwards, I added what you might call the full range of escort services — but only to men I liked. I advertised through an online Irish agency, under the category ‘elite English girls’, and went to Dublin twice a month, where no one knew me. I rented a beautiful apartment with a few other girls and made enough each month to begin to save a nest-egg for my son. I’m not exactly proud of my career so far — but the way I see it, I’ve worked hard, and haven’t been a hypocrite. Even now, there are still many secrets I’ve never told.
I’ve had many famous clients, so I was almost offended when an actor slapped an injunction on me. My first thought was outrage that he’d think I’d blab. Word had leaked, perhaps through one of the girls I shared the apartment with, but I was never going to talk. My second thought was: why would anyone want to read about him? This man’s no major celebrity — I hardly recognised him when he walked through the door. I’ve since found out that this actor has given interviews about his perfect family and fidelity. So I have this piece of advice for him: if you’re going to see escort girls, don’t brag about your squeaky-clean private life. You’re pushing your luck.
I’ve given up the escort business now and my plan is to write a book, not just about my life but about the world I briefly occupied. Is being an escort so much worse than being a golddigger? That means telling someone ‘I love you’ while only seeing pound signs. I never pretended to be anything I wasn’t. I’m not proud of it, but I don’t regret it either. If I can find a publisher, I’d like to give my side of the story at least. That’s if the English law will ever allow women like me a chance to speak.
It was a book, Call Me Elizabeth, that helped me to accept being an escort. It is about a lady who lived in a highclass area of London and lost her job, but didn’t want her kids to have to leave private school. It may sound a bit shallow, but it was an inspiration for me to read something like that. The story about the escort business in Britain needs updating for the 21st century, though. There is now a celebrity cast, by no means all of them actors and footballers. A friend of mine has been seeing a politician in London for some time, and has pictures that would make it very hard for him to deny anything. But this MP can rest easy: she would not sell her story. She values her privacy and anonymity, just as I once did.
the spectator | 28 May 2011 | www.spectator.co.uk Rod Liddle
Is there anything more sickening than the red-top press swathed in moral indignation?
At last we crusaders for truth can reveal exactly what happened when a famous footballer who is married met the former Big Brother contestant, Imogen Thomas. I suppose you could guess what happened, but it’s better to know for sure, isn’t it? Don’t worry, we’ll use phrases like ‘asked her to perform a sex act’ rather than crudely spelling it out, so there’ll be nothing to disquiet the kiddies.
It will probably involve us — the crusaders for truth — shelling out a few quid to do so, to pay off one or another source of information about how and where the ‘sex act’ was performed and whether it was any good or not, how long it lasted etc, whether or not the footballer shouted out ‘get in you beauty’ as he approached climax — but we can probably find the dosh. Even without spending any money we can tell you how the footballer’s wife is feeling right now. Incredibly, according to the Daily Mail, she is not feeling too good, she is a bit down in the dumps. She was photographed by them, a very big photograph, apparently ‘showing the strain’ and wore a ‘pained expression’ but not, the paper was quick to point out, ‘her wedding ring’. The paper described her as being ‘brave’ to have left her house at all. Her ‘bravery’ at being seen by them, the Daily Mail.
A few more days of this, once we’ve got the injunction entirely sunk, and that wedding ring will probably be gone for good. Serves him right, the footballer, trying to keep stuff secret from us. As crusaders for truth, it’s important we follow him everywhere he goes, and where his wife goes too, so we can pick up every strained facial expression and nuance of misery, every grisly in and out, every muttered aside. If the footballer happens to be smiling in a photograph, he’ll be rightly described as arrogant or callous. If he’s not smiling, he’ll be strained, or glum, or crushed. Don’t forget that we, the crusaders for truth, are not the cause of his misery: that was all down to him. We’re just telling the truth.
These super-injunctions are, of course, an absurdity. But is there anything more emetic than the red-top press swathing itself in robes of moral indignation about freedom of speech, presenting its extremely remunerative desire to pander to the basest instincts of its half-witted readership as being noble and decent and important?
The arguments deployed against the super-injunctions seem to me entirely right; we should not have a privacy law imposed upon us stealthily by unelected judges, still less by a foreign court. More grotesque still is the suggestion that the injunctions should apply to MPs in parliament and that some woman who cannot be named should be
Strauss-Kahn is what happens, we assure ourselves, if we do not pry into people’s lives with long lenses tried in total anonymity and perhaps sent to prison for having ‘tweeted’ something untoward about her brother-in-law. And again, it is quite true that the super-injunctions protect the rich rather than the powerless and that the Press Complaints Commission is utterly useless. These arguments seem to me incontestable.
Slightly less so — but still fairly persuasive — is the moral refuge to which the press retreats when challenged that its invasions of privacy have destroyed a marriage or a career: these ghastly slebs rely upon the press for their livelihoods, for the — what was it? — oxygen of publicity. We therefore effectively own them and can do what we like with their lives. And much, much further
‘We need a gagging order for Ken Clarke.’
the spectator | 28 May 2011 | www.spectator.co.uk down the scale of persuasiveness is the jingoistic breast-beating that this sort of robust Anglo-Saxon reporting would have sorted out Dominique Strauss-Kahn long before he became head of the International Monetary Fund and found himself in a New York hotel bedroom with nothing much on the telly and therefore at a bit of a loose end. We’d have bought up one of his alleged earlier victims and that would have been that. DSK is what happens, so we assure ourselves, if we take the French approach and do not pry into people’s lives with long lenses and wads of wonga. And so one case of an alleged rape against a public figure apparently justifies every rummage through a rubbish bin, every word of every kiss’n’sell from the legion of transgressed sleb wannabes.
Did you know, by the way, that Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is back from her honeymoon and, worryingly, looking a bit thin? If you look thin in the Daily Mail it’s always a worry; if you don’t look thin, you’re a porky minger and going to seed. There was a picture of Kate looking worryingly thin. And a picture of brave Kelly Brook who ‘smiles for the cameras on her first night out since tragic baby loss’. Nice of you to be there to record that for us. There was also a photograph of Victoria Beckham, and a little story to accompany it. Do you want to know how Victoria looked? She looked, according to the blurb next to the picture of the woman, who was out doing some shopping, ‘self-conscious’. God alone knows why that would be. Further back there was a photograph of a pretty actress of whom I have never heard, doing some shopping. And another photo which had the caption: ‘Showing the ropes? Party girl Sarah Harding welcomes The Saturdays’ Mollie King to Mahiki’. I do not know who Sarah Harding is, nor who The Saturdays are, or indeed what Mahiki is. But it is important that we are told stuff like this, otherwise we might end up with a DSK on our hands.
Spectator.co.uk/Rodliddle The debate continues…