James Lipton Says He Was Once a French Pimp

by | May 28, 2013 at 8:29 PM | Celebrities, Inside the Actors Studio

James Lipton (Getty Images Entertainment)


Well, we didn’t see this one coming.

The refined James Lipton apparently has a surprising past. The host of “Inside the Actors Studio” told Parade in a recent interview that he was once a pimp in France. In fact, he was once running a “whole bordello” of prostitutes.

“It was only a few years after the war. Paris was different then, still poor,” he told the magazine. “Men couldn’t get jobs and, in the male chauvinist Paris of that time, the women couldn’t get work at all. It was perfectly respectable for them to go into le milieu. Young women desperately needed money for various reasons. They were beautiful and young and extraordinary. There was no opprobrium because it was completely regulated. Every week they had to be inspected medically.”

Lipton apparently got into the pimping game when he became “great friends” with a lady in the industry, who then introduced him to the business, he eventually amassed a bevy of them.

“When I ran out of money, I said, ‘I have to go home.’ She said, ‘No, you don’t. I’ll arrange for you.’ So she arranged for me to do it. I had to be okayed by the underworld; otherwise they would’ve found me floating in the Seine.”

Eventually he amassed a number of hookers under his watch.

“Yes, a whole bordello,” Lipton said. “I represented them all, but [his 'great friend'] especially. I did a roaring business, and I was able to live for a year. The French mecs didn’t exploit women. They represented them, like agents. And they took a cut. That’s how I lived.”

Now, however, he is against prostitution.

“I think if you can’t earn it on your own, then you don’t deserve it,” he said.