James Lipton Was a Pimp: "Inside the Actor's Studio" Host Talks Prostitution Past in Paris

By Brett Malec
|  Wednesday, May 29, 2013  |  Updated 11:22 AM CDT
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Television personality James Lipton

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James Lipton is opening up about his time working as a pimp in Paris.

In the latest issue of Parade magazine, the "Inside the Actors Studio" host was asked about his--shall we say interesting?--experiences working in France in the 1950s.

"It was only a few years after the war," Lipton reveals. "Paris was different then, still poor. Men couldn't get jobs and, in the male chauvinist Paris of that time, the women couldn't get work at all. It was perfectly respectable for them to go into le milieu [prostitution]."

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The 86-year-old continued, "They were beautiful and young and extraordinary. There was no [shame] because it was completely regulated. Every week they had to be inspected medically...it was a different time."

Lipton was introduced to the prostitution scene after befriending one of the women. He explained, "We became great friends. When I ran out of money, I said, 'I have to go home.' She said, 'No, you don't. I'll arrange for you.' So she arranged for me to do it. I had to be okayed by the underworld; otherwise they would've found me floating in the Seine."

Lipton, who at the time says he represented a "whole bordello" and did "a roaring business," has different views of the world's oldest profession now.

When asked if he thinks people should pay for sex, he said, "I really don't. I think if you can't earn it on your own, then you don't deserve it."

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