They're the women who threatened to take down some of the nation's most powerful with one simple move - opening up their little black books. These madams made headlines with their sex-trade sales and their legal wrangling sent shivers through their anonymous clients who feared being outed. Today marks the 16th anniversary of Heidi Fleiss' conviction, so today’s Gotta Watch takes a look at some of the country’s most notorious madams.
Heidi Fleiss – Though she had a very brief stint on reality TV, Heidi Fleiss may forever be known as "The Hollywood Madam." As Tinsletown's top call-girl den mother, Fleiss bragged about being the best in the business and coyly played the media about her client list. But that bravado couldn't save her from a prison sentence.
Sydney Biddle Barrows – It seems like an odd story: a socialite turned madam. But for blue-blooded Sydney Biddle Barrows, the escort business brought in big clients and big bucks. It also brought in New York prosecutors. The unapologetic Barrows always said her business was classy and run with accepted business practices. She even used her notoriety to become a best-selling author.
Deborah Jeane Palfrey – Deborah Jeane Palfrey shook up Washington when she earned the moniker of "The D.C. Madam." This revelation forced a senator to come clean about his involvement with her service. But before Palfrey could go to trial, she committed suicide.