A British scientist said she is Belle de Jour, the anonymous blogger whose accounts were turned into books and the television series Secret Diary of a Call Girl.
Brooke Magnanti told British newspaper The Sunday Times that she decided to unmask herself as the writer of the accounts because she was afraid an ex-boyfriend would expose her. Magnanti, a child health researcher at the University of Bristol in Western England, said she worked as an escort for more than a year while finishing her Ph.D.
Following the publication of the bestselling books about her secret life as a prostitute, Magnanti's identity has been one of the great literary mysteries of the decade. Magnanti wrote her blog as Belle de Jour, a legal secretary who moonlighted as a call girl, and it served as the basis for three books and British TV series Secret Diary of a Call Girl, which will soon begin its third season on Showtime in the United States.
The 34-year-old scientist said she was relieved "to be able to defend what my experience of sex work is like to all the skeptics and doubters." She also said her fellow colleagues have been "amazingly kind and supportive" about the news.
Magnanti, who has been writing a novel, said she will continue her blog a bit longer. "I'd like [Belle] to have a happy ending," she said.