Las Vegas police have activated a sting operation called ‘Catch the Cootchie’ where they plan to bag the 50 most active prostitutes in the city. It’s a controversial play considering that Nevada is in talks to legalize the sex-for-money trade in Las Vegas valley. As well, protesters are insisting that it’s not women who be punished, but the men who victimize them for money. The list of the top most offenders took the police two years to gather. prostitution_mug_shots_021409
Now this has gotten me to thinking about prostitution and all of the most well-known working girls; starting of course with Julia Roberts. Never before has working on your back been so glamorized as it was in Pretty Woman where our leading lady falls in love with a billionaire and leaves the streets for good to become his princess. If only art immitated life, but no, let’s remember Hugh Grant and Divine Brown. Hugh and Divine were caught doing a certain oral activity and to my recollection, nobody ended up driving away in a Lotus with a diamond solitaire on her third finger. Or what about Pee Wee Herman who was caught hanging out with himself in an XXX theater. Although he was the only person involved, it still ended up nowhere good. Marv Albert didn’t fare any better.
Rumors have been circulating for years that Will Smith hires male prostitutes. “According to a notorious Hollywood Madame, Smith was a client of hers for years before she packed up shop and moved her operation to Manhattan earlier this year. She remembers the first time she ever spoke with Smith. ‘I had to reassure him over and over that I could guarantee discretion,’ she said. ‘Once I convinced him I could, he placed his order. It was for a man. I had 14 women working for me and two guys. You’d be surprised at how many Hollywood stars requested the services of the guys.'”*
But Will’s not alone, nor is Tom Cruise or John Travolta; they just haven’t gotten caught. Unlike Eliot Spitzer, TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggert, and Jerry Springer who might’ve been in the clear had he not paid the lady with a personal check. Charlie Sheen and Heidi Fleiss, Clinton’s aid, Dick Morris (a foot fetish got him in the end), Reverand Ted Haggard, Senator David Vitter, Deputy Secretary of State, Randall Tobias…the list of men and their prostitutes is long and plentiful.
The point is, prostitution has been around since the beginning of time and while it’s nice to bash those Bible thumpers who claim that they’re above everyone else (see above), it’s not going to change matters. Las Vegas police might arrest its top 50 offenders, but there will be 50 more waiting in the wings to take over business. Women just don’t have enough options sometimes to not grab the money they can make from selling their bodies. I’m not condoning it, I’m just saying that a level of sympathy must be had. These women didn’t find themselves on their backs overnight.
Police should instead concentrate on cracking down on the pimps who supply these women with drugs, who cut into their profits, and who therefore keep them out on the streets instead of pursing alternative sources of income. Madams aren’t much better, just a little bit classier if hooking can be dividing into classy and non-classy, which I think might be an oxymoron. But the women, the hookers, the real victims…well look at their faces. They’re just women in bad circumstances. What I don’t understand is why pornography is legal, but prostitution isn’t. To be frank, I don’t see a huge difference. They’re both sex for money. So why don’t we protect the women out there who find themselves in this drastic situation? Why don’t we help them get back on their feet like Richard Gere did for Julia Roberts? But maybe in this economy that’s not such a great idea. Because it sounds as if these women are doing a lot better than 5 million other Americans who don’t even have a job anymore. Prostitution or Welfare? Now that’s a sad state of affairs.
*courtesy of anythinghollywood.com **Nesweek: Famous \’Johns\’ Exposed