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posted 12 Nov 2008
by Brian Beers - Senior Producer
In the big-money world of prostitution, sometimes the names that get caught up in scandals are a big surprise. They include political figures, billionaires, CEOs, all-star athletes and celebrities. Here are some of the more notorious prostitution scandals that have made their way into the headlines over the years.
> Related: Business of High-End Prostitution
New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was forced to resign after being identified in an affidavit as "Client-9" for the Emperors Club VIP, a high-end prostitution ring to which Spitzer allegedly paid thousands of dollars to have sex with a prostitute named "Kristen," aka Ashley Dupre. He did not face criminal charges, however.
Busted for leading a high-end prostitution ring for numerous famous and wealthy clients in and around Hollywood. Fleiss was sentenced to 37 months in prison for tax evasion but served just 21.
A private detective followed Swaggart to a Louisiana motel and took pictures of the preacher with a prostitute. Swaggart came clean after ABC News broke the story on Nightline, tearfully speaking to his congregation and a television audience, saying "I have sinned against you, my Lord, and I would ask that your precious blood would wash and cleanse every stain until it is in the seas of God's forgiveness."
Deborah Jeane Palfrey was convicted of racketeering for running a high-profile escort agency, "Pamela Martin and Associates", in Washington D.C. The agency allegedly serviced many high profile government officials, including Ambassador of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Randall L. Tobias (also the former CEO of Eli Lilly), who resigned in the wake of the scandal.
Frank, an openly gay member of Congress and current chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was reprimanded by the House in 1990 after admitting he paid Steve Gobie, a male escort, for sex, while also later hiring him with personal funds as an aide. Gobie claimed to have operated a prostitution service with Frank's prior knowledge out of the Congressman's Capitol Hill apartment. An Ethics Committee investigation, however, found that Frank did not know, as alleged, that Gobie was using his Capitol Hill apartment for prostitution purposes.
A scandal involving an Atlanta-area strip club where the owner Steve Kaplan was indicted on a full array of federal racketeering charges, including prostitution, and sentenced to 16 months in prison. The trial exposed a number of all-star professional athletes and celebrities who were alleged to have received sexual services from the club's female employees, although they were not formally charged with any crimes.
A chartered boat party on Lake Minnetonka turned into "The Love Boat" as seventeen members of the Minnesota Vikings football team allegedly had prostitutes flown in from Atlanta and Florida to perform sex acts on them. Cornerback Fred Smoot was the alleged organizer. Following the scandal, the Minnesota Vikings created a 77-page "Code of Conduct" and distributed it to all of their players.
Up-and-coming actor Hugh Grant, just weeks before the release of his first studio film Nine Months, was busted in Los Angeles for lewd conduct in a public place while cavorting with Hollywood prostitute Divine Brown. Grant pleaded no contest to the charges, was fined and placed on two years probation.
While serving as a Cincinnati city councilman, Springer's name turned up on a personal check for a prostitute's services during a raid on a Fort Wright, Ky. brothel. Springer admitted he was at fault, and resigned his post. His candor is said to have led to his being re-elected to the council in 1975, and subsequent election to mayor in 1979. Springer went on to syndicated television fame as the host of "The Jerry Springer Show".
Sydney Biddle Barrows, known as the "Mayflower Madam " because of her family's heritage, started her own high-end escort service named Cachet . It operated in New York City from 1979 until it was shut by authorities in 1984. Some of Cachet's clients included high-powered business executives, foreign diplomats and oil sheiks.
A billionaire who founded his own financial management firm, J. Epstein and Co. (later called Financial Trust Co.), and noted philanthropist. Epstein allegedly paid several underage girls to perform sexual acts on him in his Palm Beach, Florida mansion. He pleaded guilty in June of 2008 to charges of soliciting prostitution.
President of the FIA, the governing body for Formula One and other international motorsports, Mosley was allegedly engaged in sado-masochistic sexual acts with five prostitutes. Mosley won a lawsuit case against British tabloid, the "News of the World," which released video footage of the incident, claiming invasion of privacy.
A billionaire real estate mogul and owner of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling testified in 2003 that he regularly paid a Beverly Hills woman for sex.
Pace was named by alleged madam Andreia Schwartz as being her "sugar daddy." He allegedly provided her with gifts and clothes and assistance in finding her a New York apartment, where she allegedly ran a prostitution business. Pace was cleared by Time Warner, which investigated whether he used company funds to support Schwartz. He was also never charged criminally in the matter.
Cunningham was a Republican member of the House of Representatives. He admitted taking $2.4 million in bribes and free sexual services from prostitutes paid for mostly by defense contractors in exchange for government business.
Louisiana's Republican Senator Vitter was identified as a client of "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey's prostitution service in Washington, D.C. He admitted his involvement after being outted by Hustler magazine. He was also alleged to be a client of Jeanette Maier, the "Canal Street Madam" in Louisiana. Vitter denied that claim during his 2004 campaign.
A key President Clinton strategist, Morris resigned hours before President Clinton delivered his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention during the 1996 re-election campaign after reports surfaced that he had been involved with a $200-an-hour prostitute.
> Related: Business of High-End Prostitution
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