Belle de Jour, the best-selling author who penned books about her life as a call girl, revealed her true identity over the weekend. Her name is Brooke Magnanti. Dr. Brooke Magnanti to be exact. It turns out she's a cancer researcher who began turning tricks while in grad school. Via the London Times:
Magnanti is a respected specialist in developmental neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology in a hospital research group in Bristol. Six years ago, in the final stages of her PhD thesis, she ran out of money and turned to prostitution through a London escort agency, charging £300 an hour. Already an experienced science blogger, she began writing about her experiences in a web diary that was adapted into books and a television drama starring Billie Piper.
It's not like she didn't try to find honest work. She told the Times that at one point during her double life she had a job as a computer programmer, "but I kept up with my other work because it was so much more enjoyable.” So what do you think readers? Is this a commentary on how poorly grad students, and scientists in general, are compensated? More reactions over at The Great Beyond. Related Content: Discoblog: Is It “Science” to Show Cadavers Having Sex? Discoblog: Does the Taste of Semen Have Evolutionary Roots? Discoblog: When Technology Gets Creepy: Giving Birth in Second Life
Image: flickr / keepwaddling1