Bourgeois, an unkempt man with lank grey hair, who stood in court with the help of a cane, denied the charges of proxenetisme, or pandering (prostitution, as such, is not illegal in France). All he had done, he said, was “present” a few girls to his friends. Challenged by the court president to say whether he knew that Nadia was prostituting herself, Bourgeois admitted: “With Sarde, yes. With Kazan, I only knew later.”
The six-day trial has been equally disturbing for what it has not revealed. There has been no reference in court to the two, centre-right French politicians, mentioned as regular clients of Bourgeois (but not named) in the report of the investigating magistrate who unraveled the affair.
Nadia M. was 20 years old when she fell into the silken trap extended by Bourgeois in 1996. A pathetically thin French girl of Moroccan origin, she told the court that she was a shop assistant, living in a welfare hostel, when spotted by one of the photographer’s friends. “I was a girl with no money, lost, defenseless,” she said. “He promised me a career as a model – big hotels, money, the chance to meet famous people. Above all, he promised that I would get out of the hostel.”
Nadia said she was “presented” soon afterwards to Robert De Niro but nothing happened; she said she was urged by Bourgeois to have Vip Qatar Escorts sex with Fibak, but refused. That summer, she was packed off to Saint Tropez, where she was told her career would finally take off. Instead, she said, she found herself on a yacht – with another girl – performing sexual acts with the Qatari millionaire, William Kazan.
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Brumark, it is alleged, was the real brains behind the network, taking 40 per cent of all the money paid by the clients. Bourgeois, at first, took no money. His reward was to force the glamour-befuddled girls to have sex with him. Gradually, he too was sucked into treating what began as a vicious game into a money-spinner.
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It has been suggested, in leaks from the magistrate’s office, that the Bourgeois-Brumark operation became, briefly, a kind of state-approved broker, providing girls to assist French arms companies to sweeten their deals with Gulf clients. Since this kind of thing was bound to happen, the foreign ministry and security services reasoned, it was better that a “known” and closely watched call-girl service should be used. This reduced the risk of blackmail or “pillow leaks” of secret negotiations.