Plenty of politicians are whores to big business. But Vicksburg, Mississippi, mayoral candidate Linda Fondren has opened up about her own actual sex work past: she literally used to work as a legal prostitute in Nevada. “I was a working girl in a legal brothel over 30 years ago,” Fondren said. She said she began working at a brothel to support herself after she lost a parent and became pregnant at age 14. “I hated it. I hated it,” the businesswoman and former CNN Hero told the AP. But in a happy ending of sorts, Fondren met her husband, Jim, of 28 years while working as a prostitute. “It’s true, my husband was my client. My husband and I have been married 28 years,” she told WLBT-TV.
It’s unclear what affect this admission will have on her mayoral race: unlike President Bill Clinton’s affair, Rep. Anthony Weiner’s dick pic scandal, or Herman Cain’s history of sexual harassment, she revealed this information about herself. Sure, it was probably done to set the tone and manage the scandal, but it shows a level of transparency. For instance, New York Governor David Paterson and his wife revealed that they had had an open marriage in the past and he still held onto a career (albeit a brief one). Still, I find it hard to believe that most Americans would accept an elected official, especially a woman, who worked in the past as a sex worker.
It is possible voters will find her rags-to-riches story appealing. As she told WLBT:
My story is exactly why I’m running for mayor because I want to give people better choices than what I had. I want people to understand you can turn your life around. I turned my life around and so it definitely can happen for others as well.
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