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A Naked Lie from the New York Post

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This morning The New York Post appears with an unbelievable cover story-literally unbelievable. Headlined (at least online) as "AXED GALS TAKE POLE POSITIONS: Pros Stripping Amid Wall St. $lump", the article by Anka Radakovich (one time sex columnist for Details magazine) reports "Scores of professional New York women stripped of their six-figure jobs are now working as "gentlemen's club entertainers" at upscale Manhattan jiggle joints. Former Wall Streeters, fashion executives and real-estate agents are pole dancing and stripping for as much as $1,500 a night -- but also because they like the flexible hours."

Scores? Scores?!? You mean, like, forty? Forty women who had six-figure incomes earned on Wall Street, the fashion industry and real estate have become strippers in Manhattan? It is, of course, mathematically possible, but I just don't believe it. By google search, there appears to be no more than a dozen strip clubs in Manhattan. I have no idea how many strippers each club might employ-perhaps some reader could educate me. But 50 would seem like a big number. That would mean there's about 600 strippers in Manhattan. Did one in 15 of them formerly earn $100,000 in business? Really?

For what it's worth, the article names two, Randi Newton, once of Morgan Stanley, and Katie Haverton who had been a real estate broker, plus a girl named Becky (no last name given) who had been a pastry chef. One of those nubile, twenty-something, six figure-earning pastry chefs that were all over town before the crash, no doubt. I'd very much like to see the Post produce the other 38.

I did like that line about the women liking `the flexible hours'-nice touch! No doubt after having been slaves to their Bloomberg terminals for so long, the women appreciate being able to take an afternoon off before a night of pole-dancing.

UPDATE: Since I first posted, two more reasons to be skeptical have emerged. Randi Newton, purportedly the former high-earning Morgan Stanley financial analyst, is an actress. At her website, randinewton.com, she says that she has had bit parts on The Sopranos in 2001 and in Mona Lisa Smile in 2003, among other roles. There is no mention on her site of her career as an analyst there, but in her bio on imdb.com reports that ``Soon after moving to New York City, she worked as a nanny, then as an analyst on Wall Street. Thereafter working in PR and marketing.'' So contrary to the Post's report, she left her high-paying job on Wall Street for PR, marketing, and the remunerative world of acting--and then, supposedly, stripping.

In addition, among the many people commenting on the article on the Post's website is a comment about the stripping ex-real estate broker from post_girl, who writes: I strongly believe there is no Katie Haverton, a former broker at a large real estate company. Her name would've showed up in google search. I quit real estate a year ago, and my name is still showing up in searches.'' Indeed, neither the name Katie Haverton, nor any variation, appears on google.

FURTHER UPDATE: As it turns out, Ms. Newton has another website, wallstreetstripper.com, where she tells her story:

Randi Newton attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha on a scholarship she received from the Miss America Organization. Newton moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. She had a wide variety of jobs, first working as a live in Au Pair, then moving up to Morgan Stanley Dean Witter as an analyst for a year. Not satisfied with her situation, she left and was hired as a manager for one of Manhattan's most prominent marketing companies. After being laid off and unable to find another job despite a yearlong search, Randi wandered into a strip club with a friend, and walked out with a waitress job. One year later, after being dumped by her boyfriend, she got drunk and took off her clothes on Valentines day, there the excitement began.

Newton has since been offered several management positions with major companies, and was approached again by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. However, using the business skills she developed working in a corporate environment, and applying them to her "night job" her income exceeded $100,000.00 a year. Recently Randi was featured in Radar Magazine in an article about "smart" strippers. She was also approached by the Oprah Winfrey show about the inside life of a stripper. She currently lives in New York City, studying at The New School and Upright Citizens Brigade. She is also a columnist for Exotic Dancer Magazine. Randi loves dealing poker, singing karaoke and has "retired" her g-string. Her book, "Wall Street Stripper" is hitting bookstores December 09.

So the Post has the timeline all wrong, completely undermining its own breathless thesis. And Newton has a book coming out!