Famous London Call Girl Reveals True Identity

girl on cell phone with city skyline as backdrop

Belle de Jour is really... a scientist with a PhD? Hey, Spiderman was really a photojournalist.

The jig is up. Belle de Jour, the former prostitute behind the popular column "Diary of a London Call Girl" and TV series "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" is really British research scientist Dr. Brooke Magnanti, 34. Dr. Magnanti gave the oldest reason for turning to the oldest profession -- to pay for her PhD.  Lemondrop: Text Message Analysis Leads to PhD

She came forward now allegedly out of fear that an ex-boyfriend might out her. Not even her literary agent knew who she really was.

"It was time. I've felt so much guardedness and paranoia about remaining anonymous recently," Dr. Magnanti told The Sunday Times. "... I don't want this massive secret over me anymore."  Lemondrop: PostSecret Inspires People to Confess

But let's step back a moment—Dr. Magnanti's story isn't anything we haven't heard before. Melissa Beech (not her real name), a college senior from a swanky suburb outside Philadelphia, has written about how a sugar daddy is paying for her schooling in The Daily Beast. Until last fall, a student alleging to be a call girl detailed her experiences at the blog Confessions of a College Callgirl. In the summer, a Knoxville, Tenn., media outlet interviewed a 19-year-old using escorting to pay for massage therapy school. (Stifle that laugh.)   Lemondrop: Americans Still Fixated on Prostitution–Is It Really That Bad? 

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Written by Lauren Fritsky for Lemondrop