While the debate over the UK gagging order preventing publication of the identity of an A-list actor who allegedly slept with an escort continues, Sydney-based sex worker Amanda Goff said it’s not the press who should have a muzzle.
Former journalist-turned-escort, Ms Goff, who goes by the name Samantha X, told Fairfax Media on Thursday that Helen Wood, the prostitute who claims she was paid $380 for sexual services with the British thespian, “committed the number one crime”.
“An escort never talks about names. It is really ‘unclassy’. It has ruined someone’s life,” Ms Goff said.
Ms Wood also revealed details of her intimate time with the actor, which included the use of sex toys, but Ms Goff explained it goes completely against the escort/client confidentiality code.
“The details she gave to the press about what they did in bed is appalling. Why would she do that? How can she sleep at night?
“If I could [reveal my client’s identities] I could make a fortune but that’s not my integrity,” Ms Goff added.
The famous married father sought the injunction in 2011 after British High Court judges agreed releasing his details violated his right to privacy. A decision was later made to allow Ms Wood, 29, best known for sleeping with married Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney, to be identified.
But Ms Goff, who wrote a book about her experiences in 2014, Hooked – Secrets of a High Class Escort, said we don’t know the circumstances surrounding the unnamed actor’s decision to cheat on his wife.
“For whatever reasons he has visited their services, it is no one else’s business. I think there was no reason for what [Wood] did apart from to gain money and notoriety and I absolutely condemn it,” said Ms Goff.
Ms Wood, who no longer works as a prostitute and won Celebrity Big Brother UK last year, told The Star on Thursday she regrets revealing the identity of her client.
She said: “This is a prime example of me being young and dumb, trusting the wrong people at a time when I should have kept my trap shut.
“The comments printed today were made nearly six years ago.
“I’m retracting the stupid idiotic comments I said, yes he’s a cheat, yes he did wrong, but he isn’t your average knobhead footballer who goes around blatantly cheating over and over again.
“I’m ashamed of my comments, I never had any intention of selling a story.”
Ms Wood said she was tricked into speaking about her encounter by former celebrity publicist, Max Clifford.
“Who are we to judge?”
When it was pointed out to Ms Goff that the man has been married for over a decade and he and his wife have children together, she asked: “Who are we to judge?”
“We all make choices and it was his choice to see her. We don’t know the reasons why he sought the services of an escort, but does that make him a bad person? If anyone answers ‘yes’ then I would really hope their lives are perfect. We all make mistakes and we are human.
“Something like this can drive people to depression and suicide.”
Despite the actor’s wholesome family image being in jeopardy since his name has been widely shared on social media, and US publications threatening to name him as they do not come under UK media laws, Goff laughed: “It didn’t do Hugh Grant any harm, did it?”
The British-born madam, who earns $1000 an hour, said affairs are prevalent in everyday life and if everyone acted like Ms Wood without discretion, it would ruin a lot of lives.
“There was no one else in that room apart from her and him and no one else should know the details about what went on,” she said.
Stingy celebrity clients
Through her agencies, Samantha X Angels and Samantha X Heros, where she recruits male and female escorts and works as a madam, Ms Goff said she has experienced her fair share of A-list clients and the higher their ranking, the more difficult they can be, especially when it comes to pricing.
She told a story of a recent “Hollywood A-list star” who wanted to book “one of her girls” but didn’t want to pay the whole amount for the length of the service.
“It annoys me that a celebrity or a millionaire uses their name to try to impress,” she said. “The woman doesn’t care who they are, they want to be paid.”
Ms Goff would not go into any further details about the client for fear of accidentally unmasking him, but she would confirm that she doesn’t have any well-known, everyday TV Australian stars on her books as she believes they are not paid well enough. It could also have to do with the fact that Ms Goff was a former journalist, who worked at New Idea, InStyle, Seven’s Today Tonight and The Morning Show, and many would already know her from the media industry.
The mother-of-two, who will appear at the Sydney Sexpo next week, added that she has “no regrets” about revealing her identity as a sex worker in 2014 when she appeared on Channel 7’s Sunday Night, but she reiterated a number of times that the sex industry is not a glamorous one, and spoke candidly about being raped by a client and later having to report the incident to police.
She said “no comment” when asked about her current relationship with her ex-husband, Sydney-based banker David Basha, who referred to her in the past as “a disgrace”. She also added that she is not on speaking terms with her British-based parents.
“My parents and I have yet to re-establish our relationship. I am not going to change who I am, but they are my parents and I love them,” she said.
She said she is very close with her sister. She now lives by the beach with her two children and two dogs and is currently writing her second book.