Sunday, 11 August 2013

BREAKING NEWS: I was a sex worker.

This morning I awoke to find this claim from an ex of mine, Mr George O H "Owen" Morris, that I was not a sex worker.

I have known Owen Morris was going to go to the papers (well, the Mail on Sunday) for some time, as this assertion by him turned up in the claims he is making in Scottish court.

It is a direct attack on my integrity as a writer, to claim that I lied. And I have been prepared.

When the case goes to trial, I will have to present evidence that I was a sex worker. Starting with this - an Archive.org snap of my first escorting ad from October 2003 (link NSFW).

(Readers of the first book may recall this was the session with the grumpy photographer I wrote about. As I have often said, it was that experience - being made to wear terrible lingerie, awkward poses, all the rest - that first made me think, 'hey, I should be blogging this.' Mr Morris was in fact there that day when the photographer turned up, and left before the photos started.

And if you read the third book, I made a reference to a restaurant on Old Compton Street that has the same name as my working name - that is, of course, Taro.)

I will also be presenting my bank records from 2003-04, showing the cash deposits from the money I earned as an escort, and tax records from the same years showing that this income was declared to HMRC and tax paid. Here is a sample:

I also have the notebook in which I recorded details of appointments, etc. In several instances I have been able to piece together entries from the notebook, deposits to my accounts, and the corresponding entries in the book.

Mr Morris says he would "never knowingly" sleep with a prostitute. I will be presenting a diary Mr Morris wrote in 2003-04 that he gave to me in 2005; in it he records several references to his knowledge of my sex work. The diary details his thoughts, as early as 2003, about how he was going to reveal me to the press "not if but when". Maggie McNeill later obtained, and published, the entire diary on her site.

There is of course also Mr Morris's earlier kiss-and-tell with the Mail. Back then, you'll note, his story was significantly different. Circa 2009 he was saying he did know I was an escort, but claimed he thought I never slept with clients. Yeah? Pull the other one sunshine.

There will also be the full police report I made in 2009 when Mr Morris threatened my husband online, which includes the frankly bizarre letters he sent after I cut off contact with him. The Avon & Somerset constabulary reference is 148901/09. Excerpts from his letters acknowledging his awareness of my sex work are below, the letters were signed by him and in handwritten, postmarked envelopes also on file with the police:

In the Mail he also says I didn't own nice enough clothes so couldn't have been an escort!

That's from December 2003, and is the same red silk top I wore to meet the manager for the first time (as written about in the first book). The next is at Henley Regatta in July 2004, suit is from Austin Reed, the bracelet was a gift from a client.

Maybe what he means is he didn't know I had nice clothes? Ah, unlikely. Here's a photo from the Sheffield sports ball in 2003. I'm in the front row sporting a red and gold dress and ill-advised bob. He's third from the left in the middle row.

In the Mail he claims I was in Sheffield when writing the blog, but I moved to London in September 2003 and started escorting in October, starting blogging a few weeks later. All of which is easy - trivial, even - to prove.

Oh, and the "former landlady in Sheffield, who did not wish to be named", where I supposedly lived for three years? Who apparently saw me in 'Oxfam jumpers'? Hmm... I lived one year in university accommodation (St George's Flats),  one year in a shared flat with an absentee landlord I never met (Hawthorne Road), and one year on my own in a house let through an agency (Loxley New Road). All well before moving to London. So either the landlady is lying about the timing of my tenancy and having met me, or (shock, horror) they made it up.

There's much more but it would be boring to put it all here. It's amazing to me the MoS made no effort at all to match anything he said against things that are easy to find and in the public domain. Or his solicitors for that matter. But that's by the by, and will come out in due course. The amount of fantasist nonsense from Mr Morris boggles the mind. You can read his own blog for more unfiltered blather. The people who are encouraging and enabling him to do this - it's a bit sad really.

It matters because this is a concerted and direct attack on my work as a writer. When I was anonymous, being real was my main - my only - advantage. Mr Morris and the Mail on Sunday have made some frankly nonsense claims, and I will be going to town on this.

Because I know people do not trust the word of a sex worker, that is why I saved everything.

I look forward to the opportunity to rebut all claims Mr Morris will be making in court. (The MoS claim the trial is expected "within weeks." In fact it is scheduled for June 2015.)