James Lipton, the host of the Bravo show "Inside the Actors Studio," told Parade magazine that he used to be a pimp, when he lived in Paris in the 1950s.
"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," Lipton told the publication.
He added that prostitution was "completely regulated. Every week they had to be inspected medically. The great bordellos were still flourishing in those days before the sheriff of Paris, a woman, closed them down. It was a different time"
Asked how he got involved in pimping, Lipton said he became friends with a prostitute, and when he ran out of money, she arranged for him to become a pimp.
Lipton said he represented more than one girl — in fact, he managed "a whole bordello." He added, "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. I was going through my rites of passage, no question about it. It was a great year of my life."
Quizzed on whether he thinks people should pay for sex, Lipton responded, "I really don’t. I think if you can’t earn it on your own, then you don’t deserve it.”
Lipton, whose 250th show will air soon on Bravo, added that he’s not retiring. For the episode, he will air new interviews with actors including Christopher Walken and Robert De Niro, the story adds.