As he made the promo circuit ostensibly to hype the 250th episode of his series "Inside the Actors Studio" on May 29, James Lipton gave an explosive interview to Parade Magazine. The often sycophantic interviewer went into frank detail about his former life as a pimp in 1950s Paris. Apparently, he has no regrets about his youthful employment.
“I had to be okayed by the underworld, otherwise they would’ve found me floating in the Seine."
“It was only a few years after the war. Paris was different then, still poor. 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.”
“The great bordellos were still flourishing in those days … I did a roaring business.”
“The French mecs didn’t exploit women. They represented them, like agents. And they took a cut. That’s how I lived.”
“I was going through my rites of passage, no question about it. It was a great year of my life."