A 34 year-old Bristol based research scientist called Dr Brooke Magnanti has outed herself as the ‘real’ author of the Belle de Jour blog and books. These texts ‘documented’ the life of a high-class London call girl. Dr Magnanti claims her writing is an authentic record of the time she spent working as a prostitute to fund the final phase of her PhD research. I haven’t looked deeply into the various proofs that Dr Magnanti is Belle, but plenty of news journalists have and they seem convinced by them. So while I can’t say with absolutely certainty that Dr Magnanti is Belle, it seems to me to be rather unlikely that she isn’t.
One thing I am absolutely certain of is that I didn’t write the Belle de Jour blog and books despite the claims to the contrary made by various conspiracy nuts. Although the media (most notably The Evening Standard and The Guardian) ran with this story, it didn’t originate with them and I was never under the impression they believed it to be true; they covered the claim without taking any very strong line on it because it made a good story. I benefited from the publicity and sold books as a result, while the journalists in question were paid and generated profits for their bosses.
Curiously, it appears that the majority of those who made and repeated the claim that I was Belle de Jour as if they personally believed it, did so out of spite and malice. It is therefore ironic that their activities helped rather than harmed me. The endless conspiracy theories propagated by these bozos were so ludicrous – involving as they did interminable and utterly fantastic international ‘criminal’ and ‘political’ outrages – that no one took them seriously. It was even claimed that when I temporarily took the position of writer-in-residence at Strathclyde University, I’d ‘fled’ to Scotland in a vain attempt to avoid arrest by the cops. Despite the linked assertion that my incarceration for endless heinous sex crimes was imminent, I remain at liberty…
In fact, beyond a handful of nutters, no one who’d looked into the matter ever believed I was Belle de Jour. You only had to compare my prose to Belle’s to see that I couldn’t possibly have written the tedious shit ‘she’ spews out. My view of Belle’s work is that it is mindless bollocks aimed at middle-class airheads. Had I not been publicly accused of having composed this garbage, I wouldn’t have bothered looking at it, and so it shouldn’t be necessary to add I would never have bothered writing it. That said, if Dr Magnanti is indeed (as I think likely) Belle, then hats-off to her for evading detection for so long and doing something useful in the area of cancer research. Since her prose is so unappealing, she should quit writing and stick to medical matters instead.
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!