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Thread: Natalia McClennan - New York's Number One Escort Reveals All

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    Thumbs down Natalia McClennan - New York's Number One Escort Reveals All

    From CNN transcript (July 2005):

    And a little bit later on, she was one of the best-paid escorts in New York City. What she did might infuriate you. But can you empathize with why she did it for $2,000 an hour?

    Coming up, I recently met someone whose story might surprise you. I know it surprised me, not just because of what she did, but because of how she feels about it. The money was huge, $2,000 an hour. But what can be good when you're a New York confidential escort?

    (COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: So, I would like you to take a look at this. It's the cover story in "New York" magazine just a couple of weeks ago. And this one really jumped out me. It says "New York's Number One Escort Reveals All."

    So, exactly who is she? And how did she end up as an escort and land on the cover of a major magazine? She was an aspiring actress. It's a quite a story.


    ZAHN (voice-over): There's more to this 25-year-old Natalia McClennan than meet the eyes.

    NATALIA MCCLENNAN, FORMER ESCORT: I was here for quite a few years doing some off-Broadway theater. I had such a strong feeling about how...

    ZAHN: It's a classic New York story. Natalia grew up in an upper-middle-class family in the suburbs. In September of 2000, Natalia took off to pursue her dreams in the Big Apple, leaving behind an older brother and her parents. But her life would soon change dramatically. Natalia says she was caught up in an abusive relationship. She needed money to get away and she needed it fast. Natalia became an escort.

    MCCLENNAN: It was something that I had never considered doing, never even entered my mind as an option. This wasn't something dirty. It wasn't something that was going to hurt me. But it was an opportunity to be able to take care of myself.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Natalia is creative, fun. She's the coolest chick I've ever known.

    ZAHN: Natalia began working for Jason Itzler, the founder of New York Confidential, an escort service that claimed to have on its roster the finest women in the business.

    (on camera): So, going into this, what was your understanding of what an escort did?

    MCCLENNAN: I really didn't know. I didn't know what an escort was.

    Maybe it's someone who goes out on dates. I didn't -- I didn't really know. But I think part of -- part of what I liked and the reason why I did it was because, with New York Confidential with Jason, it was a girlfriend experience.

    ZAHN (voice-over): Girlfriend experience, or GFE, meant Itzler's escorts would spend several hours entertaining their clients.

    (on camera): I understand, before you met a client for the first time, he sort of trains you to walk up to the hotel...

    MCCLENNAN: There was a mantra. ZAHN: ... room door and you said: "I'm in love with my boyfriend. I haven't seen him for three weeks."

    MCCLENNAN: Right. That works.


    ZAHN: Well, what did it do?

    MCCLENNAN: Well, it puts you in that mind space. You know, I would go up to the door. And I would kind of like be, OK, get into that -- it's like acting.

    ZAHN: So, were you acting, ultimately?

    MCCLENNAN: Well, you know what? I wasn't acting. But that's how I approach acting as well. I'm always there. I'm always present. I'm not like just putting on some theatrical show.

    ZAHN (voice-over): Natalia says clients began pouring in, paying $2,000 an hour, with a minimum of two hours for her time. Some clients even booked her for an entire weekend, the price tag, $30,000. She brought in $1.5 million a year.

    (on camera): They had to expect more than someone just talking to them.

    MCCLENNAN: Everybody has expectations. Everybody has expectations. But I would just present myself in a way to let them know that I wanted this to be a great, happy, fun time.

    ZAHN: But aren't they also looking for sex?

    MCCLENNAN: Sure. I think a lot of people in life are looking for sex.


    ZAHN: But there was a period of time where you were being booked so aggressively that you were actually having sex with strangers four times a day. How did you deal with that?

    MCCLENNAN: I've always been a sexual person. My sex life is private. But I always felt come comfortable with my choices. And I always had fun. I made sure that it was good.

    ZAHN: But I think what is so hard for those of us who are looking from the outside in is...

    MCCLENNAN: Right.


    ZAHN: ... is to understand how you could ever get comfortable with the notion of sleeping with four or five strangers a day?

    MCCLENNAN: That wasn't commonplace. That didn't happen very often.

    ZAHN: And when it did, how did you feel?

    MCCLENNAN: I felt fine.

    ZAHN: You never felt dirty?


    ZAHN: Never felt used?

    MCCLENNAN: No. No.

    ZAHN: A lot of the escorts who end up leaving the business...

    MCCLENNAN: Right.

    ZAHN: ... developed a very strong sense a guilt about accepting money for what they did.

    MCCLENNAN: Right.

    ZAHN: Did you ever feel that guilt?

    MCCLENNAN: Well, I always approached it that people were paying for my time and companionship. So, as I -- in terms of guilt, I don't have any guilt. I'm comfortable with the choices that I made. I'm happy with them.

    ZAHN (voice-over): So, as you have just seen, Natalia walks a very careful line with me. Admitting she had sex in exchange for money could lead to her arrest. Prostitution is illegal in the United States, except in certain counties in Nevada. But being an escort is not.

    MCCLENNAN: Most of the clients that I see are really successful people who just don't have time to go out and find someone to spend time with or find someone to date.

    ZAHN: So, who are these men who could afford to pay $2,000 an hour for the services of an escort? Although Natalia wouldn't given us any names, she did say most were wealthy professional athletes, attorneys, even government officials.

    MCCLENNAN: When I saw the cover of the magazine, I kind of absorbed it, went OK. That's an interpretation. But it's not what I feel is accurate.

    ZAHN (on camera): So, what's an accurate interpretation?

    MCCLENNAN: That I was an escort. I do believe in that term and I believe in those -- in those -- in that definition of what it is.

    ZAHN: So, if you were to define the key difference between a prostitute and an escort, it would be what? MCCLENNAN: It would be that a prostitute clearly exchanges sex for money. For different sexual acts, they demand different amounts of money. It's clearly -- that is clearly the boundaries in what that relationship is about, that interaction.

    And an escort is someone who is paid for her time and companionship. It's not about sex.

    ZAHN (voice-over): Although Natalia denies that she was a prostitute, in January, the NYPD raided New York New York Confidential. Its doors and Natalia's career were shut down. Jason Itzler was arrested and charged with promoting prostitution. At his arraignment, Jason pled not guilty.

    Jason and Natalia's careers in the business were documented in this series, "Inside New York Confidential," which hasn't been released yet.

    (on camera): As you try to help an audience understand what your old was about through a documentary, do you think people have a lot of misconceptions about that life was?

    MCCLENNAN: Right.

    I want my family to know and the people around me to understand what my experience was and to know that it didn't hurt me and it wasn't damaging.

    ZAHN: Will you ever be an escort again?

    MCCLENNAN: No, I don't think so. I don't think I'll ever be an escort again. It's not something that I dislike. It's not something that I have any bad feelings about at all.

    But I just think that my life is moving in a different direction now.
    Last edited by General Gonad; 06-12-2006 at 09:01 PM.

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