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What impels the rich and famous to risk their reputations trolling for hookers?

David Ho
David Ho

Billionaire businessman David Ho prowled the streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside for drug-addicted prostitutes.

Cinema heartthrob Hugh Grant was caught in his car with a Los Angeles streetwalker.

Hugh Grant
Hugh Grant

Pro football star Eugene Robinson was busted for attempting to buy sex from an undercover policewoman on a seedy Miami strip.

All are high-profile men with more money than they knew what to do with. If they wanted the company of prostitutes, they could afford to hire the priciest of escorts. Instead, they risked their reputations and careers trolling the slums for bargain-basement hookers.


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In 1999, U.S. National Football League safety Robinson had led the Atlanta Falcons to its first Super Bowl.

The day before the game, Robinson, nicknamed “The Prophet” for his religious fervour, had received the Bart Starr Award for high moral character. That evening, he hit up a streetwalker for oral sex in Miami, but she turned out to be a police decoy.

“Lord Jesus, what do I tell my wife and kids?” he moaned to investigating officers, according to Dade County court records. “I am a born-again Christian. I have accepted the Lord as my saviour. I didn’t mean to do it.”

In 1995, movie star Grant took prostitute Divine Brown into his BMW in Hollywood, where vice cops tipped off by his flashing brake lights found him receiving oral sex.

David Ho, 57, admitted to a Province editor that he cruised Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside trying to save prostitutes, and was twice found by police in their company.

This week, prosecutors laid against Ho a raft of charges including unlawful confinement, causing bodily harm, possession of a prohibited gun with ammunition and drug possession. The charges resulted from a 2008 incident that police say left a woman — not identified as a prostitute — with a broken ankle and other injuries.

None of the allegations in the charges against Ho have been proven.

Ho, a condo magnate and founder of failed Harmony Airways, has told Province deputy editor Fabian Dawson about an incident in which a prostitute called police saying he was holding her in his Seymour Street apartment.

He also said he’d been pulled over by officers in East Vancouver while he was in his vehicle with two well-known, drug-addicted sex workers.

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Posted in Canada Escorts, Sex Scandals, Sex Trade, Sex worker, escort industry.

NY ladies hit back at Spitzer girl’s claim ‘they are no better than prostitutes’

September 5th, 2009

NEW YORK – The ladies of New York have hit back at high-priced Eliot Spitzer escort Ashley Dupre’s claim that the average NY woman is no better than a prostitute as she strives to marry a wealthy man.

Ashley Dupre

Ashley Dupre

Dupre, 24, had posted an online diatribe on September 2 on rap impresario Russell Simmons’ Global Grind Web site, stating that she has seen a lot of women toy with men, go on dates to get good food, beg for clothes and ask for rent money. “I don’t agree with what she said-I would totally never do anything like that,” the New York Post quoted a disgusted Justyna Cichon, 29, of Long Island City as saying.

“She did it, [and] she thinks that every woman is like that.

“When she says that all women are that way, I’m included. So I think that’s offensive,” she stated.

Another lady, who was outraged by Dupre’s statement, was Lena Herdoon, a 21-year-old student from SoHo.

Posted in Ashley Dupre, New York City, Sex Scandals, USA Escorts.

Men Lured Into Sting For Sex With ‘Teen’

Md. Firefighter Among Many Charged

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 8, 2009

The arrest of a longtime Montgomery County firefighter on charges of soliciting sex from a minor was part of a broader online sting operation that netted at least 17 men from a variety of backgrounds, one of whom lives as far away as Ohio, Montgomery County police said Friday.

Police said the sting, which goes back to March, worked this way: Officers placed an advertisement on Craigslist purporting to offer sex. Men who responded were directed to MySpace, where they were told the woman was 16 years old. Police said the men continued their inquiries even after being told the age.

An attorney for four of the men said the operation has been aggressive and unfair because the men were lured with a photograph of an adult-looking woman. “They’re attacking people looking for normal sex, and they’re destroying lives,” said the attorney, Rebecca Nitkin. Continued…

Posted in Craigslist, Law Enforcement Stings, USA Escorts, escort industry.

In this economy, even sex doesn’t sell


At Donna’s Ranch, a brothel in Wells, Nev., most of the customers are long-haul truckers. High fuel and food prices have drained them of ‘play money.’ So the working girls sit and wait.

By Ashley Powers

November 4, 2008

Reporting from Wells, Nev. — The women at Donna’s Ranch are crowded around the kitchen table on a warm summer night, dining on stir fry, tugging at thigh-high dresses, griping about depleted bank accounts. At this northeastern Nevada bordello, which marks a gravel road’s end, they woo grizzled truckers and weary travelers for a single reason: money.

Lately, the women don’t go home with much.

Amy, 58, once bought a $32,000 Toyota Tacoma in cash; now her $1,200 mortgage saps her dwindling pay. Some weeks, she could make more flipping burgers than flirting under a made-up name. Marisol’s daughters think she works at a resort; she struggles to keep up the ruse. It now takes months, not weeks, to bring $5,000 back to Southern California.

“Marisol,” one of her regulars tells her, “it costs me in gas what it takes for me to spend a half-hour with you.”

Tonight, she tries lingering at the dimly lighted bar that’s decorated with red Christmas lights and smells of hot dogs and beans. Wearing a shimmering strapless top, Marisol sips cheap champagne and tries to seduce travelers, some with thick guts and most with thin wallets. After 20 minutes, she gives up.

Posted in Brothels, Nevada, Sex worker.

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Not even prostitution is immune to economics of supply, demand


By Abigail Goldman
Sun, Dec 14, 2008 (2 a.m.)

The pleasure of Stacie’s company used to cost $450 an hour, but no longer. Her clients were capped at 35 and older; today she’s taking almost anyone. Sex acts once off the menu are suddenly back on — recession specials, served with a side of shrugging compromise.

If she doesn’t do more for less, Stacie says, another prostitute will. And her weekly income is still down by half.

The illegal prostitution economy in Clark County is a multimillion-dollar beast fed by a black market so diverse that it’s impossible to pin down. On one hand, midrange prostitutes like Stacie say they’re being crippled by the economy. On the other, high-end call girls claim they’re not feeling much pain. And the women charging the least reportedly are making the most these days — counterintuitive in an industry where bargains come with risks.

Consider the work of sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh, who surveyed hundreds of high-end prostitutes in New York and discovered that 40 percent of “trades” in the sex economy never went beyond light petting or kissing.

In Las Vegas, the economy’s effect on call girls is even more complicated: The bulk of clients — or johns — here are from out of town, tourists or businessmen who spend days in convention halls and nights in hotel rooms with to-your-door entertainment. These men are bread and butter for local prostitutes, provided the clients come to town. And anybody in the hospitality industry — here that illicitly includes call girls too — can agree that fewer men are flying in, with less money to spend.

Meanwhile, more women reportedly are getting into the business, which creates a classic supply and demand squeeze. An escort agency owner told the Sun he’s getting about 40 interested applicants every day, the majority of whom are women running from the wreckage of lost finance jobs.

Now fold another factor into that dynamic: When the economy is bad, when people feel their mortgages closing in, they seek comfort: alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, pornography and perhaps prostitution.

When all these elements collide in the nebulous economy of escorting, a trend emerges: The Clark County call girl economy has a tipping point — about $650. Continued…

Posted in Brothels, Nevada, Sex worker, USA Escorts, escort industry.

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Financial Crisis Tames Demand for World’s Oldest Service

PRAGUE — On a recent night at Big Sister, which calls itself the world’s biggest Internet brothel, a middle-aged man selected a prostitute by pressing an electronic menu on a flat-screen TV to review the age, hair color, weight and languages spoken by the women on offer.

Once he had chosen an 18-year-old brunette, he put on a mandatory terry-cloth robe and proceeded to one of the brothel’s luridly lighted theme rooms: an Alpine suite decorated with foam rubber mountains covered with fake snow.

Nearby, in the brothel’s cramped control room, two young technicians worked dozens of hidden cameras that would film the man’s performance and stream it, live, onto Big Sister’s Web site.

Customers can have sex free of charge at Big Sister, in return for signing a release form allowing the brothel to film their sexual exploits.

But even with this financial incentive, Carl Borowitz, 26, Big Sister’s marketing manager, a Moravian computer engineer, lamented that the global financial crisis had diminished the number of sex tourists coming to Prague.

“Sex is a steady demand, because everyone needs it, and it used to be taboo, which made a service like ours all the more attractive,” said Mr. Borowitz, who looks more like Harry Potter than Larry Flynt. “But the problem today is that there is too much competition and our clients don’t have as much disposable income as before.” Continued…

Posted in Czech Republic Escorts, Sex Trade, Sex worker, escort industry.

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Sen. Craig loses appeal in airport sex sting case


MINNEAPOLIS – Idaho Sen. Larry Craig has lost his latest attempt to withdraw his guilty plea in the Minneapolis airport men’s room sex sting that effectively ended his Senate career.

A three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected the Republican’s bid to toss out his disorderly conduct conviction.

Craig still has the option of appealing to the Minnesota Supreme Court, and he said Tuesday he was considering future options.

Craig was arrested June 11, 2007, by an undercover police officer who was conducting a sting operation against men cruising for gay sex at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

He quietly pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor and paid a fine, but changed his mind after word of his arrest became public that August. Craig insisted he was innocent and said he was not gay. His attorney argued that the police officer misconstrued Craig’s foot-tapping, hand movements and other conduct.

But the case brought widespread ridicule and effectively ended his political career. Continued…

Posted in Sex Scandals.

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Sex racket was raking in €50,000 a week profit


By Tom Brady Security Editor
Friday December 05 2008

A major prostitution racket, broken up by gardai and other police forces on Wednesday, was raking in profits of €50,000 a week before the recession.

Inquiries into the racket revealed that more than a dozen brothels were turning over earnings of up to €10,000 a day for the alleged mastermind, a Co Carlow man arrested in Milford Haven, Wales.

But some of the girls, who were interviewed by detectives after the raids on nine brothels in this jurisdiction, admitted that business was no longer as brisk in the past few months because of the downturn.

Gardai believe that a large slice of the profits has been invested in property in Ireland, the UK and Bulgaria.

The money trail was last night being followed by forensic examiners from the Criminal Assets Bureau and their counterparts in Britain. This may result in the seizure of 10 properties, including three in Co Carlow and some in the North. Continued…

Posted in Ireland Escorts, Sex Scandals.

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Sex-Enomics: The “In” Escort


Katie David
Issue date: 12/5/08 Section: Commentary

The world’s oldest profession seems to be very “in” right now. Between the Eliot Spitzer scandal, an NBC special on “The Business of High-End Prostitution,” a Showtime series about a London “escort” entitled The Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Ashley Dupré’s (Spitzer’s infamous call girl) media tour, the American public is very interested in prostitution. However, the media is not showing images of what many consider the typical victim of the sex trade, such as an impoverished and malnourished woman selling her body for crack. Clearly, that image is too disturbing for the middle-class American living room. Instead, the media focuses on “high-end” prostitution, where women are paid thousands for their services, which range from sex to compliments (seriously). While the data for this industry is difficult to track, the media is most likely not focusing on these “escort services” because they pose a deep societal problem. Instead the media probably sees what many young women today observe when examining the dynamics of high-end prostitution: how closely it resembles the dating situation for young women today.

Ashley Dupré and I have something in common. Neither of us has a degree in sociology or is really qualified to make sweeping statements about cultural movements. But we do it anyway. In Ashley’s recent interview with People magazine, she explains how the dynamics of prostitution have permeated the mainstream.

Posted in Sex Scandals, Sex Trade, Sex worker, USA Escorts, escort industry.

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Ex-call girl Dupre: I’m a ‘normal girl’


By Mark Dagostino
updated 8:04 a.m. ET, Thurs., Nov. 20, 2008

She was the tabloid sensation at the center of the sex scandal that brought down New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. But in her very first interview, Ashley Alexandra Dupré tells PEOPLE, “I am a normal girl.”

“Everyone knows me as ‘that girl,’ but I’m not just ‘that girl,’ ” the 23-year-old former escort says in the new issue of PEOPLE, on sale Friday. “I have a lot of depth, a lot of layers.”

Enduring a media spotlight that included seeing her MySpace photos splashed on front pages “has been really hard,” the New Jersey native explains. “But I’m a survivor.”

Spitzer was unknown to her
Her descent into tabloid mayhem began the night of Feb. 13, 2008, when Dupré — who had worked as a high-end escort to help pay the bills on and off since 2004 — met a client who turned out to be the Governor of New York.

Dupré claims she had no idea who the man was that night. What she does recall is that “Client 9,” as Spitzer was reportedly known at her escort service (which was shut down in March), “was polite.

“Some guys, they want to have conversations and really get to know each other. With him, it clearly was not like that. It was more of a transaction. Strictly business.”

Casually dressed and with no entourage in tow, Spitzer didn’t strike Dupré as someone important. Besides, “I was there for a purpose — not to wonder who [he] could be.”

Posted in Sex Scandals.

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