Famous Madams' Second Acts

ABC News
Famous Madams' Second Acts
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Famous Madams' Second Acts (ABC News)

For America's most famous madams and escorts, life after getting busted can bring fame and fortune, gossip columns, tell-all books, and stints on reality TV shows. It has also brought drug addiction, legal problems, and even suicide.

The madam currently in the spotlight is Anna Gristina, the so-called Millionaire Madam who has said that she will drop names when she gets her turn to take advantage of notoriety. She is writing a tell-all book and will appear on the Dr. Phil show.

From Heidi Fleiss to Ashley Dupre, we take a look at five of the most infamous women whose claim to fame is servicing the rich and powerful.

Millionaire Madam

"Millionaire Madam" Anna Gristina was busted in February 2012 and accused of setting up high powered executives in New York City with hookers and using law enforcement contacts to protect herself from investigation. Prosecutors alleged that she ran the upscale sex service for 15 years and made millions of dollars. Gristina refused to give up the names of her clients when arrested by police.

Gristina was charged with only one count of promoting prostitution, which she pleaded guilty to in September. She spent four months in jail and was sentenced to time served and probation.

Gristina told the New York Post this week that she planned to write a tell-all book about her experiences and would begin naming names on an episode of The Dr. Phil Show to be taped later this month.

"There is going to be a giant name dropped -- actually, a couple of them," Gristina told The Post.

"Everyone's going to have to watch Dr. Phil," she said. "I will tell you that one of the names is high-level (NFL) management. Then there's an older (football) player who's still very well known. Tune in to Dr. Phil!"

Ashley Dupre

Ashley Dupre became a household name when she was found at the center of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's escort scandal, in which federal agents busted him for using the Emporers Club service, a high-priced prostitution ring.

Dupre, then 22 years old, briefly went into hiding as the scandal grabbed headlines. She then released two music singles on the internet and to New York City radio station Z100. Within a year, Dupre had been offered a sex advice column in the New York Post, which she wrote for more than two years.

In 2012 Dupre opened a lingerie shop in New Jersey, and is pregnant and engaged to be married.

Heidi Fleiss

Hollywood was scandalized by the sensational story of Heidi Fleiss, the "Hollywood Madam," when she busted in 1993 for running a high end prostitution ring that catered to the stars in Los Angeles. Fleiss never named her clients, though actor Charlie Sheen was cited by prosecutors as a john.

Fleiss served three years in prison, and went on to write a book about her experiences and host a sex-tips show on the internet. She eventually moved to Nevada, where she planned to open a brothel geared toward women clients, called the Stud Farm. The plans never materialized, and Fleiss then appeared on the British reality show Celebrity Big Brother.

She has battled drug addiction throughout the years.

D.C. Madam

The tale of the D.C. Madam began sensationally and ended gruesomely when police busted Deborah Jeane Palfrey in 2006. Palfrey had netted more than $2 million in five years by hiring postgraduate students in the D.C. area to service her clients. When she was arrested, U.S. Sen. David Vitter's name was on her contact list, though he denied paying for sex.

A U.S. Ambassador and a top government administrator were also on the list, and resigned their posts.

Palfrey was convicted in 2008 and faced 55 years in prison. Two weeks after her conviction, Palfrey was found hanging in her mother's shed in California. Police ruled the death a suicide.

Mayflower Madam

A descendant of the first Europeans to arrive to America on the Mayflower in 1620, Sydney Biddle Barrows was dubbed the "Mayflower Madam" after her arrest hit the front pages of newspapers around the country in 1984.

Barrows, from a well-to-do Philadelphia family, had taught her young female employees how to dress better and engage wealthy men in conversation on their dates. When she was busted, lawyers, doctors, diplomats and stockbrokers peppered her list of client names.

After paying a $5,000 fine, Barrows wrote a best-selling memoir called "Mayflower Madam," which was turned into a TV movie starring Candace Bergen. She went on to write two books on etiquette, using her moniker, the Mayflower Madam, and in 2009 released a book of business advice, "Uncensored Sales Strategies."

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