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Madame Claude
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    (July 6, 1923-December 19, 2015)
    Born in Angers, France
    Birth name was Fernande Grudet
    French brothel keeper during the 1960s and 70s
    Catered to upper class clients, including businessmen, government ministers and foreign dignitaries
    Claimed that her clients included John F. Kennedy, Muammar Gaddafi, the Shah of Iran, FIAT head Giovanni Agnelli, Marlon Brando and Rex Harrison
    Portrayed by Francoise Fabian in the film 'Madame Claude' (1977)
    For years, she avoided prosecution by sharing with the police information that her prostitutes picked up from their clients.
    She fled to the US after French authorities indicted her for failing to pay 11 million francs in taxes (1977).
    She returned to France (1986) and spent four months in jail.
    After her release, she tried to set up a new prostitution ring, leading to another jail sentence, for procuring (1992).
    She was big on plastic surgery, claiming to have had everything 'done' except her breasts.
    She became a recluse in her old age.
    Francoise Fabian said, 'I was struck by her cynical view of sex between men and women. To her, men were nothing more than wallets.'
    She claimed to have participated in the French resistance during WWII. (Although her detractors said the story was a fabrication.)
    She said, 'There are two things that people will always pay for: food and sex. I wasn't any good at cooking.'
    The CIA reportedly hired her girls to keep up the morale of the negotiators at the Paris Peace Accords that ended US military involvement in Vietnam (1973).
    In her video 'How to Seduce' (1992), she advises, rather unexpectedly, 'Never have sex on the first date.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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