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05.30.2013

JAMES LIPTON, HOST OF “INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO,” DISCUSSES HIS DAYS AS A PIMP ON THE STREETS OF PARIS – ON “CBS THIS MORNING”

LIPTON TELLS CO-HOST CHARLIE ROSE: “I DID A ROARING BUSINESS”

 

 

            James Lipton, host of the long-running program “Inside the Actors Studio” discussed his recent disclosure that he once worked as a pimp in Paris, in an interview broadcast today, May 30, 2013, on CBS THIS MORNING (7:00-9:00AM) on the CBS Television Network.

 

“I’m not ashamed of it,” Lipton told co-host Charlie Rose.

 

Lipton spent a year on that job, telling Rose, “I did a roaring business!”

 

            An excerpt of interview is below.

 

CHARLIE ROSE: Over the past 19 years, James Lipton has interviewed many of the world’s most famous actors. His program, “Inside the Actors Studio” celebrated its 250th episode last night. And the 86-year-old host has sparked an even bigger conversation by revealing a secret from his youth. It was Paris in the 1950’s when James Lipton was a young man in search of his “rit de passage.” He ended up in the sultry streets of the city’s Red Light District.

 

JAMES LIPTON: Well, I don't believe in buying sex.  I think that if you haven’t earned a sexual adventure, you don’t deserve it. I believe that to this day.  So, no no no…  I didn't want sex. My Parisian friend, he was much more casual about it. Then two beautiful women approached us and said would you like to see two women make love? I said, I certainly would.

 

ROSE: One of the women, Regine, became one of Lipton’s closest friends.

 

LIPTON: It was platonic.  Anything else would have spoiled that. I certainly wasn't going to pay her.  And she certainly wasn't going to give it to me for free because that would have been my exploiting her…sexually. So we were stuck…but we liked each other. One night I went back there and said I have to go back to America.  And she said why, and I said oh, I just have to go back.  And she said, you're broke, aren't ya? And I said, yes.  And she said, the problem is solved.   You're going to be my mec. 

 

ROSE: Mec, short for Mackrel, is French for what some would call a pimp. Lipton disagrees.

 

LIPTON: A pimp exploits and abuses the women who work for him. A macro does nothing of that sort.  I'm talking about then.  The macro works for the women.  He's a procurer.  He's an agent, so to speak.

 

ROSE: He quickly became a pro.

 

LIPTON: I was the only American there, and they would be saying to tourists, American tourists, would you like to see the Louvre, would you like to see the personal tour of the notre dame de paris, and I would say to them, would you like a personal tour to Rue Pigalle? Would you like to see a sexual exhibition.  Well, I did a roaring business!

 

ROSE: Lipton spent close to a year as a mec for Regine and the women of Bordello, and he says he has no regrets.

 

LIPTON: I'm not ashamed of it.  She was my friend. I was of help to her.  And we had some amazing adventures.  And I did go through my rit de passage in Paris. I never intended to discuss it.  I didn't intend to discuss it with you now.  So your lips are sealed and if you ever mention this, I'll have to kill you.

 

Click here to watch the clip.

 

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Chris Licht is the Vice President of Programming, CBS News, and Executive Producer of CBS THIS MORNING.

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Press Contact: Weesie Vieira 212-975-2856  VieiraW@cbsnews.com