She was once the world’s most well known madam, pimping out flunked French actresses to buyers she claimed strayed from John Kennedy to the Shah of Iran, and she was caught multiple times moving her call-girl service over the course of at least four decades.
Fernande Grudet — known as the exceedingly French and very sumptuous Madame Claude — died in Nice, France, on Saturday. She was 92.
“There are two things that parties will always pay for: food and copulation, ” she reportedly once did. “I wasn’t any good at cooking.”
She’d been hospitalized over the past two years and “was very tired, ” someone close to her told AFP.
Her life, however, was one full of energy and riddle. A Vanity Fair expose in 2014 covered her as a famed madam of the ‘6 0s and ‘7 0s 😛 TAGEND
Claude, it became clear to me, was not merely something for the boys. She was a matchmaker who Pygmalionized her charges and marriage them off to entitlements, famous appoints, brand names. The gravamen of pimping–what the French call proxenetisme–is the selling of women into servitude. Claude sold her women into splendor.
Madame Claude was an institution, a lore, and a living legend at that. But she was also a vanishing act. We lost touch when she returned to France in 1985 and cut a deal with the French dominions. But she soon went back to her old-time ruses, get her business departing again, and was eventually introduced into tribunal in 1992. Shortly after the motion of advertising that accompanied her contest had abated, Madame Claude left the scene.
Indeed, her reputation preceded her. When she was arrested in 1992 at age 69, she was allegedly back to her old-time recreation, but her solicitors argued that she was beyond the law.
She was collared when investigators turned up evidence that she had re-established a high-priced prostitute service involving at the least 12 young girls and catering to some of her former buyers.
Prostitution is legal in France, but it is illegal for another person to make a living off a prostitute’s earnings.
Investigators supposed Madame Claude’s new functioning functioned much like her previous one, which reportedly was condescended by heads of state, royalty and potent industrialists. Clients paid $2,000 or more for the societies of call girls who were banked and groomed by Madame Claude.
Vanity Fair noted that it was impossible to demonstrate so many of her assertions, as some included secrets within the Kennedy family, but she was enough of a household name in 1960 s Paris that nobody doubted her, either.
She chose their wardrobes, supervised their hairdos and makeup, counseled them on good manners and even arranged plastic surgery.
In a journal she published in 1986, Madame Claude expressed the view that good manners and gentility were more important to her clients than ability in bed.
“If I have to choose between a nymphomaniac and an intellectual, I’ll hire the intellectual, ” she wrote.
The product of an upper-middle class French lineage, Madame Claude received a strict convent education until age 18. She said the one enormous desire of her life was her first lover, killed during World War II.
“She takes with her an alcove on the part of states secrets — she was famed, ” the former head of the Paris Judicial Police, Claude Cances, told AFP.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Related On HuffPost 😛 TAGENDNotable Beings We’ve Lost In 2015