Monday: 55-year-old vet charged with murder

A military veteran Hassam Malik is charged with killing 28-year-old Betty Williams in his East Harlem apartment.  He has reportedly said that he paid her to have sex and claims that she attacked him first. Daily News reports that prosecutors do not agree with his self-defense claim, due to forensic evidence.

The police have apparently told various tabloids that Betty had a history of prostitution.   CBS News here emphasizes her drug arrests and suggests the murder is a drug transaction gone wrong.  Daily News adds that  “Malik’s neighbors said he often boasted of bringing women to hotels and stealing their credit cards.”

Betty’s body was found in a suitcase near Rao’s restaurant.  AOL News points out that Betty was found “not far from where another body was found in a suitcase” in 2003.  After reading the NY Times coverage from 2003, we’re wondering if there’s a connection or a pattern.


Client 9: Ashley Dupre sets the record straight

In today’s New York Post, former escort Ashley Dupre clears up a few misunderstandings.

Why did she choose not to appear in Alex Gibney’s “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitze r”?  There are two sides to this story and her explanation is one a lot of sex workers will identify with.

Those of you who followed the “prostitutes of God” video scandal will appreciate Ashley’s resilience and her refusal to cooperate.

As for the movie, PONY member Melissa Ditmore criticized this “visually beautiful film” when it opened, for “attempting to vindicate” the former New York governor with an image overhaul.  (Read her Guardian column here) Another PONY member Tracy Quan compared Spitzer’s support for gay rights with his lack of support for ordinary New Yorkers who buy and sell sex.  (Tracy also polled the readers of about his black socks.)

Melissa Broudo of the Urban Justice Center reviewed “Client 9” for Feministing, describing Spitzer as yet another “tough-on-crime” politician who doesn’t deserve liberal support.

Cineaste writer Robert Sklar took note of  deceptively “tight close-ups” that shave off the former governor’s chin and brow in a brisk online review. And Natalie McLennan, who appears in “Client 9,”  told the Montreal Gazette how she felt after watching the finished product at the Toronto filmfest in September.


NY Daily News: Voice of the sex worker

NY DAILY NEWS:  Audacia responds to a serial killer’s remarks about prostitutes.  Top item in today’s “Voice of the People.”

Other readers are outraged as well.  MSM link here.

Sunday night: Come to a Ho-liday Bash hosted by Zoe Hansen (no cover/no minimum)

PONY talent will be abundant on Sunday night at the Bowery Poetry Club!

Zoe Hansen (ex-madam, ex-junkie, ex-hooker, now a memoirist)  is your host.
Jodi Sh Doff performing from her one-woman show: “How did a nice Jewish
girl wind up spending a decade naked in Times Square?”  And David Henry Sterry (ex-ho, now a Huffington Post muckraker and bestselling author) co-hosting.

Juicy details on Jodi’s excellent website The Dirty Girl Diaries.

When:  Sunday Dec. 19 at 9pm (No cover/no minimum)

Where: Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery (btw Bleecker and Houston), NY, NY 10012 MAP

METRO: F train to Second Ave, or 6 train to Bleecker

Violence in Year Seven: NBC video, Merseyside police tactics + more

[This post has been updated – scroll down.]

his year NBC covered the December 17 event at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Community Church. Watch here.

On December 17,  2003  when PONY members met on the steps of Judson Church in Greenwich Village,  the  conviction of the Green River Killer was in the news.  The idea for an International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers came from Annie Sprinkle, a longtime PONY coordinator – also a leading voice in our movement.  There was disagreement about whether to invite media, with some wanting a quiet gathering, others urging visibility.

Over time the Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers has evolved into a very public occasion.  This year,  the recently discovered bodies on Long Island brought extra attention to the New York event. In the UK, December 17 attracted police attention – the good kind.  The Merseyside Police even used a sex worker logo to make their point.

[UK] Read the Merseyside Police statement here!

[Video] NBC covers the December 17 event at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Community Church.

[Free download] Research for Sex Work #12 is published on December 17, 2010:  ‘Sex Work and Violence’

[Video] Channel 4’s Tom Llamas talks to Audacia Ray about safety tips for sex workers.

[Guardian online] Audacia connects the dots between Kampala/Uganda and New York/USA


[Updated on Sunday 12/19 – Africa] In Rose-Hill, Mauritius, 100 marched for sex workers rights on Saturday.

[Updated on Sunday 12/19 – SF] Annie Sprinkle talks about San Francisco’s toxic condom policy with SF Bay Guardian’s Caitlin Donohue.

[Updated on Sunday 12/19] Audacia responds to comments by Joel Rifkin in the Daily News.

NY: Audacia on Channel 4 11 pm news tonight

Look for Audacia Ray on the 11 pm news this evening, WNBC Channel 4.  She’ll be talking to Tom Llamas about our December 17 event and the latest issues facing sex workers – New York and everywhere else.

If you don’t have a TV, look for her on

We will post the link here as soon as we have it. Come back soon! [UPDATED: Watch it here. ]

Join us on Friday evening in New York to honor the lives of sex workers we have lost. Details here.

Why December 17? Audacia Ray explains…

“The first time Kyomya Macklean did sex work,” writes Audacia, “her client turned violent after she refused to have sex without a condom…”

But December 17 isn’t about stereotyping our clients. It’s about why that client is not very different from the police and others who claim to be “saving” us.

Read Audacia’s powerful informative  Guardian column here. And please join us on Friday at 7:30, Metropolitan Community Church in Manhattan.

Audacia Ray is a former sex worker and is the founder of the Red Umbrella Project, where she produces monthly storytelling events in New York, a podcast, and storytelling workshops that empower sex workers to tell their stories. She also consults on communications for the Global Network of Sex Work Projects. Her website is here.

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