Call Girls and Drug Dealers: Stop Talking to Reporters!Joan Didion said that writers are always selling somebody out—unless the persons talking to said journalists sell themselves out by participating in magazine profiles despite their illegal work status. (Remember the pot dealer who went on the record, using his real name, for a New York Observer profile? Really bad idea, dude.) Page Six reported this morning on a retired luxury call girl named Natalie McLennan (well-disguised working name: Natalia)— an anonymous website has sprung up, linking her to ratting out Eliot Spitzer's hooker Ashley Dupre. (McLennan denies the accusations, and Dupre's lawyer hadn't heard about the website.) It's alleged that she informed on Dupre to keep the heat off her own prostitution charges. What brought on the heat from the fuzz—other than her engagement to her pimp, jailed escort agency owner Jason Itzler (who was also pimped Dupre in her early days)?Maybe it was her unwise participation in a 2005 New York magazine profile on Itzler, which revealed a ton of biological details that would make her real name easily identifiable for even the most bumbling of PIs—plus photographs that included her face. In 2005, Jason Itzler (Dupre's former pimp and Natalie's current one) was jailed at Riker's after his NY Confidential escort agency was busted. What else do we learn about "Natalia" in the article that might have provided an easy trail for the cops—and possibly pressure her to become an informant in order to save herself?
"Natalia, 25, about five foot three and perhaps 100 pounds soaking wet, reigns as the love of his life."
"(She was the tap-dance champion of Canada in 1996)"
"She was an actress, had played Shakespeare and Off Broadway both. Ever the ingénue, she’d been Juliet half a dozen times."
“It was my birthday,” Natalia remembers. “I’d just been cast as Ingrid Superstar in this play, Andy & Edie. I wanted to be Edie, but Misha Sedgwick, Edie’s niece, also wanted it, so forget that."
The lesson here: we're not judging her profession, and Natalia/Natalie comes off as intelligent in the article, with a sense of humor ("Jason would be saying, ‘Natalia is the greatest escort in the history of the world, as good as Cleopatra or Joan of Arc,' says Natalia, “and I’d be like, ‘Jason! Joan of Arc was not an escort, she was a religious martyr.’”) But if your job is, in fact, illegal, it's best not to participate in high-visibility magazine profiles. Hookers and other illegal workers should never talk to the media.