May 2, 2008
When Deborah Jeane Palfrey (aka the “DC Madam,” who was found hanged in Tarpon Springs, Florida on Thursday) sat down in May 2007 for an interview with Carol Joynt, host of the Q&A Cafe interview series, most everything was up in the air: Palfrey faced a criminal indictment on prostitution charges and was fighting courts over how to handle thirteen years of phone records which contained the phone numbers of many clients of her escort service.
But, for Palfrey, one thing was crystal clear during that interview: She would never end her life by hanging herself.
Joynt brought up the subject of Brandy Britton, a Baltimore prostitute whom had occasionally worked for Palfrey and whom had hanged herself in January 2007, only days away from facing prostitution charges.
Palfrey told Joynt in no uncertain terms: “I don’t want to be like her. I don’t want to end up like her.”
In the months following the interview with Joynt, Palfrey’s fortunes took a turn for the worse. In April, a federal jury convicted Palfrey of running a prostitution ring and she awaited her sentencing on July 24, where she faced up to six years in prison.
In the end, Palfrey’s proud and defiant statements about Britton’s tragic end couldn’t stop her own sad conclusion, and it all too closely tracked the final days of her former employee: A woman caught up in an illegal world of sex and money, and for whom the pressure ultimately became too much to bear.
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