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Belle de Jour Releases Photograph As Proof That She Used To Be A Prostitute

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Brooke Magnanti.jpg

The wickedly delicious blog in which Belle de Jour wrote about her time as a high-class call-girl formed the basis of the popular Belle de Jour books, and was also turned into the hit ITV2 series, Secret Diary Of A Call Girl starring Billie Piper has been challenged in a legal case brought by her ex-boyfriend who claims she had never worked as an escort.

Belle du Jour aka Brooke Magnanti has released a photograph of herself dressed in lingerie and posing seductively, in which states will form the basis of this court case in which she wants to prove she worked as a prostitute.

Brooke Magnanti-Billie Piper

Brooke Magnanti & Billie Piper who played Brooke in the hit ITV2 series, “Secret Diary Of A Call Girl”

Brooke’s former partner Owen Morris who was known only as The Boy in the books is suing Brooke for defamation and breach of privacy, claiming her books destroyed his RAF career and saying he does not believe she worked as a call girl. Owen sued The Sunday Times in 2011 for a claim of defamation caused by his name being mentioned in the paper. The writ, filed by Flight Lieutenant Owen Morris of RAF Lossiemouth, claimed that following Belle du Jour revealing her secret, he was identified as her former boyfriend and therefore mentions of his harassment in the articles had been damaging even though they did not mention him by name. The Sunday Times printed an apology in February 2012, followed by The Week who agreed to pay damages.

Brooke, 39, is to counter-sue for libel, and is going to use the photograph from the archived page of an escort website Alphababes from October 2003 as evidence of her work as a prostitute. The advert for her page states her name is Taro, which was referenced to a restaurant mentioned in her book and states: ‘Check out the pictures of our new addition, a super intelligent petite blonde Taro who is currently studying for her PhD and can provide all the services.’

Brooke also has photos of what she claims are bank statements showing payments made by alleged clients of £240 and £260 in October 2003.

Owen sued the author in 2013, claiming she could not have been a prostitute while they were in a relationship because she was typically wearing cute second-hand jumpers rather than sexy outfits. I’m sure when a prostitute is at home relaxing its not wear latex bearing whips and chains.

Brooke responded by releasing a photograph of her wearing a silk red top and a photo of her at Henley Regatta wearing an Austin Reed jacket and a bracelet bought for her by a client. She claims to have an appointment book detailing her clients, as well as Owen’s diary in which he allegedly writes about his shock of finding out about her work in the sex trade.

On her Belle de Jour blog she has outlined her case, saying Mr Morris’s claims were an attack on her integrity.

This morning I awoke to find this claim from an ex of mine, Mr George O H “Owen” Morris, that I was not a sex worker.

I have known Owen Morris was going to go to the papers (well, the Mail on Sunday) for some time, as this assertion by him turned up in the claims he is making in Scottish court.

It is a direct attack on my integrity as a writer, to claim that I lied. And I have been prepared.

When the case goes to trial, I will have to present evidence that I was a sex worker. Starting with this – an Archive.org snap of my first escorting ad from October 2003 (link NSFW).

(Readers of the first book may recall this was the session with the grumpy photographer I wrote about. As I have often said, it was that experience – being made to wear terrible lingerie, awkward poses, all the rest – that first made me think, ‘hey, I should be blogging this.’ Mr Morris was in fact there that day when the photographer turned up, and left before the photos started.

And if you read the third book, I made a reference to a restaurant on Old Compton Street that has the same name as my working name – that is, of course, Taro.)

I will also be presenting my bank records from 2003-04, showing the cash deposits from the money I earned as an escort, and tax records from the same years showing that this income was declared to HMRC and tax paid. Here is a sample (below):

I also have the notebook in which I recorded details of appointments, etc. In several instances I have been able to piece together entries from the notebook, deposits to my accounts, and the corresponding entries in the book.

Mr Morris says he would “never knowingly” sleep with a prostitute. I will be presenting a diary Mr Morris wrote in 2003-04 that he gave to me in 2005; in it he records several references to his knowledge of my sex work. The diary details his thoughts, as early as 2003, about how he was going to reveal me to the press “not if but when”. Maggie McNeill later obtained, and published, the entire diary on her site.

There is of course also Mr Morris’s earlier kiss-and-tell with the Mail. Back then, you’ll note, his story was significantly different. Circa 2009 he was saying he did know I was an escort, but claimed he thought I never slept with clients. Yeah? Pull the other one sunshine.

Belle de Jour-Brooke Magnanti-bank statement

Brooke and Owen met in Sheffield in 2001, while Brooke was studying for her PhD in forensic science. She began writing anonymously as Belle de Jour in 2003 and, in November 2009, outed herself in a newspaper interview. The couple had split earlier that year. In August 2013, it was revealed Owen would be suing Brooke.

He said: ‘The Belle de Jour myth has ruined me and rendered me unemployable. The private lives of me, my family and friends were not only used without my knowledge or consent, but twisted and darkened. I am suing her because I want to stop Brooke destroying my life further.’ In a statement, Dr Magnanti said: ‘I can confirm a counter-claim has been lodged. I have been advised by my QC to offer no further comment pending the resolution of this litigation.”

If the case goes ahead, it is believed it will be the first time a woman has sued for defamation for suggestions she was not a prostitute. The case against Brookei is set to be heard in June.

Source: Belle du Jour, Daily Mail

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