a certain famous chat show host
Back in the 1986 when I was new to the sex industry as a prostitute / escort / sex worker - I had a phone call one evening from a voice I recognised from the TV.
He asked about my service and what I charged and then asked if I would go to his flat - I believe was in Kensington ( if memory serves ) and I requested a credit card as confirmation on the out call so I knew he was legitimate.
Well, he gave a name and a card details which I knew to be fake but I went through the procedure of applying for clearance on the card, which was refused as I knew it would, and even though this would normally ring alarm bells and I WOULD MOST CERTAINLY KNOW THE CLIENT WAS A TOSSER - I decided to go anyway as I knew who it was from the voice.
As soon as he opened his front door I was proven right, It was this famous TV chat show host - and without mentioning names, Grace Jones hit him once for turning his back on her.
You get who it was now ???
( Errrr - John ??? There's a picture of him at the top of the page ... der ... )
Anyway. I pretended I didn't know who he was as I had just returned a year or so previously from living in the USA and pretended I hadn't a clue, as this put him at ease and less to worry about. Anyway - The session was pretty boring and he wanted this cigar tube stuck up his ass and the fuss he made... and I did have to remind him that things MUCH MUCH BIGGER came out of that hole so stop making so much fuss.
We did the biz and after we sat and chatted and this is where I told him off. You see, he had a rather unusual flat, strangely shaped with a huge hall that was more like a lounge in and of itself and it was all quite heavily furnished with ' stuff' everywhere. Books, magazines, furniture, pictures and photo's in frames and a - hint hint - a flashing neon sign saying 'RUSSEL' high up on the wall and when we chatted this became part of my harsh words.
With a cup of tea at the end I went for it...
' I don't know who you are - but CLEARLY your name is not Fred ( as he told me and I knew was a lie anyway ) as you have your sign up there flashing at me with the name RUSSELL - so CLEARLY your name is Russel.
No problem, a lot of people give fake names but do not SWITCH ON the neon sign flashing your real name... Next: You have bundles of cash all over this flat, hundreds and hundreds of £ all scrunched up in different places. I also do recognise YOU IN THE PHOTO THERE WITH SHIRLEY BASSEY AND YOU IN THAT ONE WITH TOM JONES - so CLEARLY RUSSEL - you are someone on the telly - a chat show host maybe, and if you are and if you are a well known figure - PUT YOUR FUCKING MONEY AWAY - TIDY THIS PLACE UP, AND BE MORE FUCKING CAREFUL WHO YOU GET AROUND HERE LIKE THIS OR YOU REALLY WILL COME A CROPPER ONE DAY - as not all escorts are as genuine and honest as I am and you will come off badly one day if you don't get your act together... Russel.'
He was taken aback, but I continued.
'Russel, the gay world is a dangerous one. Dealing with rent boys, sex workers, escorts, whatever you want to call us, is also a dangerous game. When inviting someone into your own home YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHO IS COMING ROUND and as many who work in the sex industry are - ( not to be rude ) victims - low lives - scoundrel's and often not even gay but 'GAY FOR PAY' - and where THEY DON'T GIVE A FUCK FOR YOU OR WHO YOU ARE - you are putting yourself into a very dangerous position and you REALLY need to grow the fuck up and get real in how you deal with people if the manner in which you dealt with me - fake name fake credit card fake everything - and I appreciate your reasons as a famous person - THEN PUT THE PICTURES AWAY AND ALL SIGNS OF WHO YOU ARE ,- and Russel - LEARN ABOUT BEING DISCRETE.
You don't know who is coming round here for sex after a simple phone call from an advert in a sex magazine and you REALLY need to think before you act in future and take your brains out of your dick and put it back into your head JUST AS LONG AS IT TAKES TO ORGANISE YOURSELF PROPERLY - and then you can relax and enjoy yourself more.'
He kept nodding and agreeing with me and he said how right I was etc. many many times throughout my 'having a go' and I did state that I meant this purely for his own good - to protect him - famous or not - AS HE MUST BE CAREFUL.....
Anyway: He paid me in cash and gave me a handsome tip and stated how nice it was to meet someone who was not afraid of him and who spoke back and put him straight, and I left and never saw him again - However:
Some time later - I think it was 'The Sun' or the 'News of the World' newspapers sent in a tacky rent boy with a microphone and taped the entire conversation and so forth and outed him in the paper for the world to see was a gay man ( as if anyone doubted that anyway... ) and within a short time for there, he died in St James' University Hospital on 8 June 1988 at the age of 53 from liver failure caused by hepatitis. At his funeral Alan Bennett commented in his eulogy that "the gutter press had finished Harty off." His body was buried in the graveyard of St Alkelda Church at Giggleswick.
Hep B is often sexually transmitted and was always quite rife within gay men who like to rim - so - who knows who and where and when but - he died so young and although - of course I knew who he was and of course I watched his interviews, I never liked his style and I disliked his manner and generally thought him an odd bod at the best of times and looking back at the state of his flat - mmmm - there was something not quite right going on there in some way and his foolishness caught up with him and - he died. Tragic for someone so young and with so much ahead of him.
Frederic Russell Harty (5 September 1934 – 8 June 1988) was an English television presenter of arts programmes and chat shows.
Over the years I met many famous people through the sex industry and he was - in all honesty - one of the lesser well known clients I had the pleasure of - and it does make me laugh to remember giving the man a gentle and thoughtful lecture on behaviour as he was asking for trouble, but it seemed he didn't listen.
I can still see him with this thin cigar tune up his tushy and groaning as if I was fisting him.
He demonstrated some of the dangers with fame. Who to see ? Who to trust ? Who to tell. Who to befriend. Like a rich person, it can be very hard figuring out who is genuine and who is after your fame or money - a sycophant - who wants to know you for you - and who wants to know you for what you can do for them... as is often the case. When I ran my escort agency, I would meet guys who were just that - nice to me - but often really after something - WORK - MONEY - ( my body perhaps... ha ha ) and it was often quite lonely knowing most are just money orientated and the few who do become genuine friends, you value.
And if someone claims not to have know he was gay - HELLO - I think everyone knew...
Bless him for his service towards our entertainment.
Bless him for being a customer and giving me a story to remember.
Bless him for his money and combined with others, helped me buy Hamilton Hall for cash Bless his for his life, his loves and his self, as the world would have been a little more boring without him and let's face it, don't we all remember Grace Jones hitting him on live TV ???
The highlight of his career.. ha ha