tip off

Brothel baron on Thomson: ‘I think it’s bullshit’

Sydney’s brothel barons have cast serious doubt on the integrity of the former prostitute claiming to have had sex with Craig Thomson.

It is claimed that Channel Nine’s A Current Affair has offered her $60,000 to spill the beans on their night of carnal pleasure. News Ltd reports this morning that she lives at Cabarita Beach on the NSW north coast after previously working in Sydney as an escort with Boardroom Escorts.

On ACA last night, reporter Justin Armsden said that their investigation was centred on a CBA MasterCard payment of $770 paid by Thomson on May 7, 2005, to International Immobiliare, which is the corporate entity of the escort agency Boardroom Escorts. Sex businesses disguise the nature of the payment that appears on credit card statements when clients pay by credit card to ensure a level of discretion.

ACA has now whisked her away to an overseas location to be interviewed — some seven years after the alleged event — in return for a bag of money. But, according to some of Sydney’s leading brothel barons, that is the problem with the whole ACA deal — seven years is a long time ago.

The current owner of Boardroom Escorts is Alex Lavey, who purchased the business in 2008, three years after the alleged Thomson event.

I think it’s bullshit,” he told Crikey. “How can she remember back seven years? Some of the girls I’ve got here now can’t remember what happened last week let alone last year or the year before that.”

Lavey claims that his escorts currently do 5-12 jobs per week on average. But back in 2005, business was going gangbusters in the sex industry. Lee Cameron, owner of two brothels in Chatswood including the up-market La Petite Aroma, told Crikey: “In those days, business was booming and good escorts could see up to eight clients a night four nights a week. They would have a driver who would camp outside and then drive them to the next job.  It was that busy.”

Using Cameron’s figures an escort back in 2005 would see up to 32 clients a week. Factor in, say, a 40-week working year, and an escort could have potentially seen 1280 clients in just one year.

I asked Cameron whether it was conceivable that an escort could remember a client from seven years ago, given the high number of men they would see. “Her claims have little credence.  She couldn’t remember. She couldn’t. If it was a movie star like Sly Stallone or someone famous, they might but Thomson was not a public figure back then,” she said.

Cameron also questioned the integrity of some sex workers suggesting that many have issues such as drug and alcohol dependency: “If I was A Current Affair I would be very careful as this could be a potential con-job.”

Cameron’s and Lavey’s thoughts are echoed by Helen, owner of Liaisons, an exclusive brothel in Edgecliffe and The Golden Apple in Potts Point, the latter made famous in the recent Underbelly series. Casting doubts on why the former pr-stitute doesn’t want to be identified, Helen told Crikey: “The interview won’t have any credibility if the face is pixelated and voice distorted. It could be anyone. If you want to come forward and attempt to destroy someone’s reputation, then you can’t hide behind anonymity.”

Helen also raised issues about the integrity of some sex workers in the industry saying that many are unreliable: “The likelihood of a prostitute seeing a client on only one occasion such as this and now remembering him seven years later is most unlikely.”

Helen remembers the time she walked out of Liaisons for lunch one day and as she did in walked one of Australia’s most famous former politicians: “I checked later with the girl who saw him and she didn’t even know who he was. I knew who he was though.”

Meanwhile, Lavey is concerned about losing business because a former worker is outing a client even though he didn’t own the business at the time. “I’m not sure how much this bad publicity will affect my business. Privacy and discretion is very important in this industry,” he said.

Lavey’s website boasts:

Is my privacy 100% safe with Boardroom?

Absolutely! Here at Boardroom, your privacy and satisfaction with our services is our number one concern. This being the case, you can rest easy knowing we’ll take care of you with impeccable discretion. We will never at any time share any of your private information with anyone … guaranteed.

  • 1
    Lamerton Margaret
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Seems to me as if she wants the money and is prepared to say anything to get it. Abit like Tony Abbott - he’d do anything to become PM. What a tawdry business this allm is

  • 2
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Nine says Thomson refused to watch the interview. Why would an innocent man, falsely accused, do that?

  • 3
    william gibbons
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    you can write “bullshit” but not sex?

    this is the reason i’ll never subscribe.

  • 4
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Yep, the word filter on this site is farcical.

  • 5
    Steve Gardner
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    William Gibbons, this probably has nothing to do with Chris Seage. A lot of workplaces have email filters that block messages based on their contents. ‘sex’, ‘porn’, ‘fuck’ etc. are filtered terms and messages containing them will be blocked. So you’ll often writers writing these terms as ‘s-x’, ‘p*rn’, etc. Guy Rundle does it, too, for example.
    If that is the reason, though, Chris Seage needs a little more attention to detail. The word ‘sex’ does actually appear in the article.

  • 6
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    It’s amazing that there is absolutely nothing that Craig Thomson can say in his defence that will be believed, but a women claiming to be a prostitute who has been paid to appear on tabloid is instantly believable and trustworthy. She even signed a stat dec!

    No offence to their chosen profession …

  • 7
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that ACA or Channel 9 is getting enough ‘bang’ (pun intended) for their buck. If they had a conducted a proper Cost Benefit Analysis and tender process they would know that they could easily get 12 prostitutes to ‘finger’ Thomson for 5k each……..

  • 8
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    @socratease Why would an innocent man, falsely accused, want to watch the interview at all? What on earth would be gained by that?

  • 9
    David Allen
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    One thing we can be quite certain of. Thomson can not now get a fair trial.

    If he’s guilty, and he walks, then he’ll be able to thank Abbott, Pyne and, of course, our outstanding media.

    Thanks for your contribution to justice guys!

  • 10
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I would suggest if Crikey wants to understand whether or not prostitutes remember their clients they should shout a journalist a trip to an ‘equivalent brothel’ and pay for a prostitutes time and find out. The ranting of a brothel owner dripping with vested interest who clearly wants believe the women he employs are stupid and bonk so many clients they cannot remember them is no replacement for research. Prostitutes should be paid for their time too - even if the researcher does not get sexual services. You may find that they are actually normal and intelligent people who like most of us remember people for different reasons.

  • 11
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    So, notmensa, if a hooker claimed you were her client in a recorded interview, you wouldn’t want to see that? Pull the other one.

  • 12
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    All we need now is a drug dealer to say that the brothel-owners shouldn’t be believed.

  • 13
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Wombat, and their regulars may have certain physical characteristics that are easily remembered.

  • 14
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    In the future, will there be a prositute on channel 9 that claims to have done it with one of those nauseous opposition shadow cabinet? (Good for ratings you know) If they have not already had dalliances or participated I can think of at least six who would be up for it given a chance. Whether the ladies of the night would want to be with such sc*m is a debatable question. LOL!

  • 15
    Mack the Knife
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    The entire Jackson, Ashby, Abbott, Pyne, H R Nicholls connections here need a royal commission to sort out.

    Unlike the Godwin Gretch saga, Abbott and co need scrutiny

  • 16
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    @neothefatcat, maybe Thomson should be asked to sign a few stat decs backing his denials about card usage. Reckon he’d do that? Hmmm?

  • 17
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    @Bill Hilliger, LOL!!!!

  • 18
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Curses, foiled! Memo ACA: Next time, choose a whore with integrity.

  • 19
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Going by the pricing schedule, his $770 would not have got the quality escort. Poor taste as well !!

  • 20
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    ^ Maybe he’s a quick climaxer?

  • 21
    Stevo the Working Twistie
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    @SOCRATEASE- I refuse to watch the interview too. Make of that what you will. I think 9 really needs to pull out the stops here. Maybe get the wino on the corner to testify, and possibly the neighbor’s dog. Dogs never lie.

  • 22
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Stevo, you and Thommo can avoid it together.

  • 23
    Michael de Angelos
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    SOCRATEASE amply examples the art that throwing mud will always stick. Any lawyer will tell you not to answer questions even when innocent. There are a host of reasons and none so more, as in Craig Thomson’s case that all you do is give more reasons to be attacked.

    Kate McClymont on Fairfax has led this disgraceful charge of stringing together disparate facts and movements to create an overall picture of guilt when none may be there.
    At times she seems like the mouthpiece for Thomson’s HSU enemies and never once has she looked at the accusers or questioned their motives. To give her the title of ‘senior journalist’ shows how far in the gutter Fairfax are sinking.

    Anthony Albanese has good reason to say Abbott may how be bordering on the notion of intimidating a lawfully elected MP from doing their duty.

    Voters should question why Abbott and Co are so demented in their quest to seize government if the polls are so brilliant for them and victory is assured in 12 months. Why?

    Is it because a closer examination of his policies (?) in a calmer and longer electioneering campaign where the media will have to concentrate on genuine discussion (and not gossip) may shift polls?.

    Or that a quick change in government via the demise of a Labor MP will enable Abbott and the Coalition to introduce Workchoices2 without the need for an election campaign?

    And shouldn’t the barrister George Brandis, who pontificates so eloquently on propriety be demanding a probe into why Tony Abbott as a Minsiter in the Howard government along with his colleagues failed to note one single email/memo that AWB was bribing the evil Saddam Hussein to the tune of $300M?…a far more sinister and evil act compared to some alleged personal hi-jinks of a man before his time in Parliament.

  • 24
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    This sage will drag on for 12 months and then years

  • 25
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    @David Allen.. I see the light, I’m humbled in the glow.

    God forbid it, if Thomson was to hurt himself the Mad Monk would be the only one laughing about it. The rest of the Lieberal’s would not be able to contain their smiles of glee. Would the media hold themselves responsible, I won’t hold my breath. limited news is so good at covering their back here in Australia.

  • 26
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    It was me. I slept with Craig Thomson.

    And I’m willing to tell my story to ACA for only $40,000!

  • 27
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    ACA hasn’t been watchable for decades, Socratease. The early days of Jana in the ’90s, maybe.

    What’s she doing these days, anyway?

  • 28
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    @SB: I fear so. ANd I’m more than tired of it already.

  • 29
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I never watch ACA or its equivalent as 15 minutes of media watch is worth 2 years of such pap . I do however think its appropriate that ACA uses a ” prostitute ” to sell a story as ACA has been prostituting itself for many years . Just how long ago was it that these types of shows actually had some integrity in reporting ? I remember it used to but its been so long now I can,t recall when the slide began . Even Ray Martin got caught up in the grubby part of it in the end and was made to look a fool when tactics used on victims were used on him .
    Why would Thomson entertain watching a video when by doing so it gives ACA a hint of cred to their story . By not watching it it gives voice to doubters but I would think he has enough on his plate without adding to it another vague accusation from a vague source .
    Sophie Mirabella must be delighted she is in the opposition and not a backbencher in a minority government facing the liberals . What has been dished out to Thomson would seem mild compared to what she would receive . Maybe Pyne should consult Sophie about dementia to see if he has it or just convenient memory loss like Downer etc .

  • 30
    Phil Vee
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Comment 2 socratease wrote……Nine says Thomson refused to watch the interview. Why would an innocent man, falsely accused, do that?

    Your question is a grubby rhetorical trick. You asked a question which implies he is probably guilty if he did not watch it. Absolute crap. Dishonest humbug. No doubt you will now defend yourself by protesting you did not say he was guilty. Worthless argument. Fact: he did or did not watch it. Conclusion to be drawn: none.

  • 31
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Abbott has said he’ll do anything to be PM - and he’d have to think seriously about selling his a**e? Remember that?

    So CT was so memorable that this woman, who could’ve met with over 1,000 per week can remember! Wow! I’d like to meet him? (If I was 30 yrs younger,that is?) What a lot of rubbish. Who can remember the ‘experience’ with their partner on a certain date 7 yrs ago? Regardless of how fantastic or??? it was? Pull the other leg, it plays yankee doodle!

    Remember the saying….’if it sounds too good? to be true, it usually is’? Channel 9 has sunk to a new low now. I wonder what Laurie Oakes thinks of this?

    60,000 good reasons for this woman to make up a good story!

    I’m off to ring CT’s office and offer my support. Not for the alleged accusations, but for the crap that’s been on and on for days now! Disgusting!

    @MICHAEL DE ANGELOS - Re your comments about AWB - couldn’t agree more. Yesterday during Question Time, the sight of Kevin Andrews taking the high moral ground almost made me puke. Remember the role that Andrews, Ruddock and Kelty played during the Haneef affair. Every day, leaking to the media, even remaining silent over the Prosecutor allegedly told lies to the Court in order to keep Dr Haneef in custody? Not one of those people were ever called to account.

    I also recall Ruddock being called before the Senate re comments he made about a High Court decision that went against his govt. Disgusting, that now these people are pontificating on a high moral stance?

    @SB - Anthony Albanese quoted the part of the Crimes Act that Abbott has ‘offended against’? I urge the Federal Police to charge him! Or the NSW or whoever! This is disgusting! As usual, Abbott has gone too far, and hopefully, it’ll blow up in his face!

    CT will NEVER get a fair trial - considering that he hasn’t even been charged with committing any crime, this situation is pure political poison. Great example set by Abbott to every young person out there. This is how you treat people who have NOT even been charged. He doesn’t believe in the rule of law, and nor do too many of his colleagues and followers!
    Oh yes, I intend to ring his office too!

    As I’ve said on another site. I usually take all how to votes on polling day just to be polite. I intend tearing up the Lib’s HTV next time right in front of them, and I’ll tell them why! With a bit of luck, the Liberal candidate will be standing there at the time! I’m so disgusted and saddened by this awful situation.

    They stand in the House of Reps reciting the Lord’s Prayer, and then these committed christians (oh, sorry catholics - not necessarily the same thing at all) whip themselves up into a hysterical frenzy spewing bile and poison - every sitting day! Shame!

  • 32
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering where and when ‘the prostitute’ would turn up and the enormous credibility issues involved.

    I mean a prostitute who by definition lies for a living (take your pick - “I love you”, “I’m enjoying this” “You’re so good” “Yeah, yeah, yeah!) is being asked to provide solemn sworn evidence of the truth.

    Given the prior acting career, you don’t think she might be acting?

    The other problem with this angle is that it’s not illegal per se to use prostitues which is a different matter to misuse of funds. I haven’t seen any claim this particular hooker was paid with HSU funds (?)

    What if it was personal money? Hypothetically does a govt lose it’s numbers because an MP previous to being elected screwed a hooker, paying with his own money? There would be no professional class left in Australia if that was the test.

    Not having ever been to one, I may have to do some research though I think my other half would have a negative opinon about that!

  • 33
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I don’t watch ACA, but these comments reveal a shocking contempt for the women in the business, who are the ones who should be asked their opinion on what they can or cannot remember - they can speak you know:

    I asked Cameron whether it was conceivable that an escort could remember a client from seven years ago, given the high number of men they would see. “Her claims have little credence. She couldn’t remember. She couldn’t.”
    “Some of the girls I’ve got here now can’t remember what happened last week let alone last year or the year before that.”

    Shame, Crikey, shame - not much acknowledgment that either women or sex workers have any intelligence in this disgusting piece of so-called journalism. ACA is a travesty, but you are hardly Pullitzer prize winners with this one

  • 34
    David Allen
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Is it because a closer examination of his policies (?) in a calmer and longer electioneering campaign where the media will have to concentrate on genuine discussion (and not gossip) may shift polls?.”

    I reckon that’s spot on, Michael.

    khtagh, “I see the light, I’m humbled in the glow.”
    I’m not with you, please explain?

  • 35
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    90 mins in moderation…. really???? am I that controversial?

  • 36
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    My comments about yourself the other day, I hang my head in shame.

  • 37
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    And the thing is no-one was ever going to be charged with using a hooker or paying for one, they were going to be charged only with no rules around the use of credit cards.

    Governance or lack of is nothing that anyone can be charged with.

    And on the FWA website it shows Bernadette O‘“neill was scapegoating Thomson and demanding the court apply penalties to non-penalty breaches.

    All of which were about the rules surrounding the use of credit cards for which there are none.

  • 38
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if she’s got any “dependents” - as for “recognising” him? He’s been on TV more times than Tony Abbott.

  • 39
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Michael de Angelos, you have every right to believe what Thomson says, just as you have every right to believe that there’s a tooth fairy. I’m happy to call him a flat out l-iar.

    He’s dug this hole for himself. He plays the public for fools and then wonders why the media go digging into his transactions.

  • 40
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    @Maeski, I dunno what Jana is doing these days. Retired I guess.

    Yep, A Current Scandal with Grimjaw is usually not worth watching, any more than Barcelona Tonight with whoever, but I wouldn’t miss anything to do with Thommo. He’s made himself required viewing.

  • 41
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    The 1280 figure cited here assumes that no one is a repeat customer. Even with a smaller distinct client list, I still find it implausible that someone would be remembered for so long unless he was a repeat customer or had some distinguishing feature. Was either of these suggested in the interview?

  • 42
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Anyone still watching today tonight obviously nevered saw Frontline.

  • 43
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I think that any of us, regardless of our line of work, would have trouble remembering someone we met once or twice in the course of our work seven years ago. I think that if the interviewee wished to be believed, she would need to indicate a reason as to why she should remember Mr Thomson, who was pretty much unknown to the general public at the time. In fact if she wished to be believed, she probably should have chosen some vehicle other than ACA.

  • 44
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    National Press Club - 16th May inst.
    MARK RILEY: Mark Riley from the Seven Network, Mr Hockey. If Craig Thomson voted with you to carry no confidence in the Government and forced an election, would you accept his vote?

    JOE HOCKEY: That would be a moment of clarity for Mr Thomson that would be very hard to refuse.

    Just a clue to the real agenda!

  • 45
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Frontline is brilliant. Get the DVD box set folks.

  • 46
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    @Liz45, the real agenda of an Opposition is to replace the Government? No kidding?

  • 47
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I think you have a wrong interpretation on the comments . The same could be said about a car salesman who sold a car to a punter seven years ago or any person involved with dealing with the public in financial transactions . Pyne couldn,t recall sending an email to a person after he had asked for their email address and that was after some weeks rather than seven years . Does a plumber remember fixing a tap for joe blow after seven years ? I don,t think the comments are against sex workers as such but the odds of remembering anyone after such a long time in day to day dealings .
    I go along with Marilyn on her point about charges and guilt . Why do you think no charges have been laid after extensive police investigation , forget FWA as its not set up for that . The simple thing to remember is that Thomson to be out of parliament must have a charge with a conviction of over a year imposed in a court of law . Not the court of public opinion or the bizarre liberal interpretation of justice where lib ministers are always above board even after being caught out . The main game for the lib dirt unit now is to keep it in the spotlight , nothing more , nothing less . Morality , ethics or justice have nothing to do with the charade of the libs but it seldom does with them these days . Even old Bolte would avoid this mob and he wasn,t beyond twisting the rules . Bolte was a long serving lib premier in Victoria for those unaware . Only man I know who had his blood test lost by the Vic coppers in regard to a crash . Yes , even he would disassociate himself from the present crew.

  • 48
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Interesting Albo is out today claiming Abbott has breached the crimes act in calling for Thomson to resign. Will anything come of it?

  • 49
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    SOCRATEASE: You’re falling for the sideshow of the Thomson affair. The real story is how the Coalition’s politicians, the media scribes and waffle-heads and the infinitely evil Rupert Murdoch, have stripped away some of Australia’s icons. Innocent until a court of Law finds otherwise; giving someone ‘a fair go’; decency and restraint; all these qualities have now disappeared out of political view.

    Meanwhile the infamous Tony Abbott, the man who has taken it upon himself to be the judge, jury and the executioner, has belatedly realised that Thomson’s mental state may be at risk. Craig Thomson may, or may not be guilty. The man presents himself as a greedy fool. If every greedy fool in Australia was up for judgement, we’d have no one left to run the country.

  • 50
    Posted Friday, 25 May 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    @SOCRATEASE - Smart a^^e? The way to do it is via the ballot box, not by disgusting tactics that border on criminal?