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I chose my madam name, "Billie," after the teenage outlaw Billy the Kid. I was a young woman, living outside the law but working in a man's world, profiting from the illicit desires of all types of men from blue-collar workers to celebrity millionaires. I needed a name both sexy and ballsy; a name that said, "Don't mess with me, buddy"; a name for a vigilante and an enforcer of the peace. And so, to the more than ten thousand clients I accumulated in five years as the leader of the most successful call-girl game in Manhattan, I was Billie.
I was a madam--an enlightened madam, I think, but a madam nonetheless. I ran my business with a pro-woman attitude. I never forced anyone to do anything and encouraged the girls to set their own boundaries. My girls chose to work for me because of who I am, how I operated and how I treated them. I was very good to the girls who worked for me, but I never took any crap from them. I never let them get away with anything (though a few did manage to take advantage of me). I never made them do things they didn't want to do. Even if it meant losing a rich repeat customer, the girls' safety and happiness always came first. I tried to be a kind employer.
If I went on a shopping spree, usually one of my favorite girls was with me, and I shared my wealth. I bought my girls gifts, and I took them out to dinner at the best spots in New York City. I wined them and dined them--and sure, some of it was networking, making the scene and being seen. I always had plenty of business cards on me to give out to prospective clients and beautiful would-be models and actresses. Still,the girls were treated like my family, like princesses--and I was, as one named me, their "Mama Fabulous."
But a lot of them let me down, and by the end of it all, I found myself with barely a friend in the world. Still, I would not have played it any other way. I have no regrets at all.
Ironically, I'd decided months before my arrest that I wanted the beast off my back. I wanted to be free to live a normal life, without the calls at 3 a.m. from girls whining that they forgot to get the credit card imprint from a client, or from a coked-up client saying, "Billie, Billie, if I can't get you to come over, then I want you to bring me three of your youngest, hottest, skinniest girls right now." I was in my early thirties, had been in the game for twelve years, had made a great deal of money, seen a whole lot of the richer and darker side of life, and I was getting tired.
Every time I tried to take a moment for myself, one of my girls would have a crisis and I would drop everything to bail her out. There were early-morning calls from drunk girls whose cars had been impounded and needed money to get home. There was excessive flakiness that cost me thousands. There was drug use that drove some of my best girls to steal from me, and I was just plain exhausted. Crackdowns were happening all over town--then Eliot Spitzer was busted for his obsessive prostitute hobby. It was time to get out. The writing was on the wall in all caps and bold, so I decided to sell the business and walk away with my money.
Billie the Madam would ride off into the sunset, never to be heard from by anyone ever again.
Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? Well, as we all know now, it wasn't.
New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was a client of mine. From 2004 through 2006, he was good for a call at least once a week. He called himself "James" and identified himself as a lawyer. I met him in one of the apartments I had set up for meetings, as he preferred his dates to be "in-call" rather than "out-call" so he would meet the lady of his choice at one of our locations, either one of my many apartments or at the individual girl's residence. When the girls were running late, it wasn't unusual for me to hang out and keep clients company, either on the phone or in person at one of my places, making small talk, chatting them up--basically, distracting the man while he anxiously waited for his tardy companion to arrive.
James seemed nice enough, and he looked like a typical professional. Forties, Jewish, about five-foot-eleven, thinning brown hair, and wearing a good suit, he seemed like a lot of high-end clients I met in New York City.
I didn't know who he was. He was attorney general when I met him, and having only been in New York a short time, I wasn't familiar with the politicians in this city.
I only met James once or twice, but I spoke to him quite a bit on the phone. Although there were other people working the phones, the high-end clients usually found themselves generating a relationship with me, and chose to book directly through me. And for a few years, James--a "hobbyist," as we in the business call men like him--meant thousands of dollars of steady income for me and my ladies.
That is, until the complaints began coming in hot and heavy. James was getting rough and too aggressive with the girls--repeatedly pressuring them to do things they didn't want to do.