EXCLUSIVE: How JFK paid $5,000 to famed brothel owner ‘Madame Claude’ to procure a Jackie lookalike prostitute on his trip to Paris who enticed him wearing the same ballgown as the First Lady
- Madame Claude provided women to various foreign dignitaries such as Muammar Gaddafi, Lord Mountbatten, and Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
- JFK used her services during his 1961 trip to France, according to William Stadiem’s Madame Claude: Her Secret World of Pleasure, Privilege & Power
- The president wanted to bed La Dolce Vita actress Anouk Aimee who was a ‘more seductive, sexual version’ of First Lady Jackie Kennedy
- But the actress turned down the encounter because she refused to sleep with a ‘puerile warmonger’
- Claude was forced to find a Jackie lookalike – a 23-year old Sorbonne grad – who wore the same white Givenchy dress the first lady would wear at Versailles
- During the secret $5,000 tryst the president had reportedly complained to the model that his wife was more interested in fashion than sex
As the reigning Queen of Sex in Paris for two decades, French brothel-owner Madame Claude offered a secret and forbidden universe of pleasure and high-ranking politicians and celebrities such as John F Kennedy, Muammar Gadaffi, Nelson Rockefeller, and Frank Sinatra.
Her stable of girls were no mere prostitutes but what the Madame dubbed as ‘swans’ from fine French families with brains, charm, and – sex with a very happy ending.
So it was in April 1961 that President John F Kennedy came to Paris and desired to sample the pleasures of Madame Claude’s swans.
The woman he really wanted was actress Anouk Aimee who had recently appeared in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita.
She was a Jackie lookalike and often compared to the First lady – close in age, tall, dark, mysterious and gracefully regal.
But she had one thing Jackie didn’t have – sex appeal.
‘JFK was drawn to Jackie’s looks but wanted a more seductive, sexual version. Such was Anouk Aimee….’ writes New York Times bestselling author author William Stadiem in his book Madame Claude: Her Secret World of Pleasure, Privilege & Power, published by St. Martin’s Press.
Madame Claude, a French brothel keeper, revealed how she provided services for various high-ranking politicians and celebrities in a new book
President John F Kennedy was among her many clients and enlisted in her service during his 1961 trip to France
The president instead had sex with a Jackie lookalike who enticed him by wearing the same gown (right) that the first lady would wear that night in Versailles, above with French President Charles de Gaulle
JFK wanted French actress Anouk Aimee (left) who had similar features to his wife Jackie Kennedy. The actress turned him down
But the sexy actress, horrified by the notion of sleeping with a ‘puerile warmonger’ after the fated Bay of Pigs invasion, turned down the request.
Madame Claude did not disappoint her clients and went beyond his wildest sex dreams. She had the perfect girl.
‘JFK’s blind date was a very Jackie-like sylph who was employed as a fitting model for Givenchy himself,’ – Givenchy being Jackie’s favorite couturier – the book states.
Madame Claude had this 23-year old Sorbonne grad wear the exact same white Givenchy dress that Jackie was going to be wearing at the ball at Versailles that very night.
She was ‘Jackie le deuxième’ – Jackie the second.
‘She looked like Cinderella on her way to the ball. But the only ball she would be attending was the imminent one in her simple bedroom,’ Stadiem writes.
JFK was alone with this ‘swan’ for one half hour before having to return to his hotel to prepare for the evening’s festivities, the highlight of the trip.
William Stadiem’s Madame Claude reveals details of the brothel-keeper’s secret world
The madame later learned that the president wanted her to replicate his wife in an ‘erotic dimension’ because the couple hadn’t been sleeping together.
JFK had even complained to the model that his wife was more interested in fashion than sex.
So the swan gave him a striptease and illustrated for him that the two were not mutually exclusive.
At Versailles that night, JFK profusely complimented his wife and told everyone in his entourage how fabulous she looked – all the while thinking of his swan.
In 1961, the madame’s rates for an hour with a Claudette would have cost a Frenchman $50.
However, the cost of this perfectly executed and discreet Madame Claude experience was going be ten times the going rate for the president.
‘This was an affair of state…and her price for her services to the American president was two thousand dollars,’ the book states.
Although the French claimed they had no interest in affairs of domestic or foreign leaders, they did indeed know where JFK was every minute he was in France.
The state apartments at Quai d’Orsay – where the Kennedys were staying – ‘had a thousand ears and eyes. ‘And there was no such thing as too much secret information’.
Impressed by her discreet handling of this encounter, Madame Claude was soon enlisted by the Elysée Palace and the French equivalent of the CIA and French FBI, to provide them with pillow talk and what went on between the sheets.
The president’s press secretary Pierre Salinger (left) was the enabler who arranged the liaison with Madame after getting her phone number from Frank Sinatra’s valet
Rarely appearing in public, she became the most famous unseen woman in France, Madame de la République.
Her principal protector was top cop and all-powerful Paris police chief, Maurice Papon, a well-known Nazi collaborator.
In fact, French president George Pompidou also protected Claude and used her for espionage.
Dr. Max Jacobson was the president’s cover on that trip and Pierre Salinger, Kennedy’s press secretary and future California senator, was the enabler who arranged the liaison with Madame after getting her phone number from Frank Sinatra’s valet.
To be discreet, he used code language as if he was buying a gift saddle for Jackie’s horse from Hermes.
JFK later requested a second visit by Jackie le deuxième in Washington.
But when she wasn’t available for the rendezvous, the ever-creative Claude found an acceptable substitute.
Salinger set up all future assignations for Kennedy while Jackie went on culture and shopping trips in the French capital.
JFK had no aversion to prostitution or even sharing a mistress with his father, according to the author.
He had lost his virginity to a streetwalker in Harlem while studying at Choate prep school.
When he attended Harvard, his father, Joseph P. decided that Jack should have a grand tour of some of the legendary legal brothels in France.
First stop was one run by Madame Billy, not of the same class as Madame Claude, but an old fashioned brothel with 20 pretty women and ten bedrooms.
The father and son duo frequently re-visited the French whorehouses while traveling to the family’s rented summer villa on the Côte d’Azur, ‘even after Jack had married Jackie and was elected to the Senate’.
Among Madame Claude’s most famous and high-profile clients are: Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, fashion designer Oleg Cassini, and actor Rex Harrison
Nelson Rockefeller was a client who reportedly loved to pinch the girls and was scolded by Claude for pinching so hard they were black-and-blue for a week
But nothing topped Madame Claude’s elite secret service.
After that infamous night in Paris, the president had raved about his swan and the Camelot inner circle followed.
Fashion designer Oleg Cassini asked to meet the same girl on his next trip to Paris but she wasn’t his fantasy sex goddess.
Elizabeth Taylor’s fifth husband Richard Burton even became Madame Claude’s favorite Hollywood star client.
She adored British actors and he frequently sought out her services when he was having epic fights with Taylor and throughout his marriage.
Actor Yul Brynner, Rex Harrison, and Marlon Brando were among her frequent clients.
Harrison once requested two tall Scandinavians at one time, and Brando always preferred exotic Oceana types or Tahitian beauties which Madame Claude had trouble finding.
So she sent her smartest girls who studied at the Sorbonne and instead of having sex with them, the actor lectured them until sunrise about global atrocities, human rights and other causes he championed.
No one had more women than French director Roger Vadim, Jane Fonda’s first husband.
Three was never a crowd to the director who liked setting up scenes and giving orders.
He introduced Fonda to the infamous threesomes she later complained she was forced into – all with girls ordered from Madame Claude.
Madame Claude, real name Fernande Grudet, was a one-woman and one-time show and very little was known about her during her ‘reign.’
The French madam fled Paris in 1977 to escape criminal charges after not paying taxes for years on undeclared income. Above she is pictured during her trial in 1986
When it came to clients Aristotle Onassis and Maria Callas, their sexual requests were ‘too depraved’ to recount, the madame confessed to Stadiem.
Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. frequented Madame Claude, but it was during her stint in the US.
She had fled France in 1977 to escape criminal charges after not paying taxes for years on undeclared income and she set up shop in Beverly Hills. Old and new clients continued calling.
Sammy, according to the book, was a fan of her German swans. The comedian and Baron Elie de Rothschild were two of her top clients as was auto tycoon Gianni Agnelli who gifted her with a Fiat.
Agnelli, a style maven, would dress his swans in sailor suits for the sexual encounters on his yacht.
Sinatra was a devoted fan of her services until his new wife, Barbara, a tall, blonde, ex-showgirl herself, put the brakes on his frequent visits.
Sinatra had snatched her from her ex-husband Zeppo Marx, his neighbor in Palm Springs.
Brother Groucho Marx was on Claude’s list and was often dragged to Paris by his longtime companion Erin Fleming who hired Claude’s swans to attend to his never-lagging libido.
‘Fleming’s hope was that Groucho’s sexual appetite would get the better of his coronary elasticity and accelerate her inheritance of his estate,’ she is quoted in the book.
It finally did when the great comic died in 1977 but his sons took the case to court declaring her a ‘conniving gold digger’ and she was forced to return some of the inheritance.
Heads of state and even royals enlisted in Madame Claude’s services.
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran, was the most generous and lavished precious jewels from Harry Winston on the many women she sent to his palace in Tehran.
On one occasion, Claude sent a model who had become a radical Communist and shared her conversion with the shah.
But he packed her off back to Paris without the jewels telling Claude: ‘I cannot make love to a Communist.’
Mu’ammar Gaddafi was supplied with a swan at the Ritz Hotel in Paris where she anticipated being fêted with champagne and caviar. Instead, he offered bottled water, dates, and a cassette with Arabic music.
But Gaddafi did eventually gift her with a diamond that she had put on her belly while she belly-danced for him all night.
Lord Mountbatten would only see her girls in Baron Elie de Rothschild’s private jet as it circled the skies above Paris while the two old men enjoyed a ménage à quatre.
Every client had their own sexual habits and preferences behind closed doors.
Billionaire J. Paul Getty made the girls use a pay telephone at his stately English home at Sutton Place to avoid having to pick up any long-distance charges.
Nelson Rockefeller loved to pinch the girls and was scolded by Claude for pinching so hard they were black-and-blue for a week.
But Alfred Bloomingdale, department store heir and creator of the Diners Club credit card as well as being the most notorious of the Reagan swingers, got his call girls from Hollywood Madame Alex. He was into sadomasochism.
‘I wouldn’t let Nelson Rockefeller pinch my girls; why would I let Alfred Bloomingdale beat them? Claude told the author. Claude’s girls were givers but never takers.
In Los Angeles, Claude was introduced to Joan Collins, pre her Dynasty TV show resurrection and her friend, Evie Bricusse, horror film actress.
Seeing the Bulgari and Buccellati jewels the two women were consciously flaunting at lunch, Claude suggested they might be interested in earning a little extra money.
Claude did have clients that enjoyed sampling a ‘more seasoned’ woman and even a faded star was attractive to some men.
Joan asked if the offer included Evie, to which Claude responded: ‘Absolutely not.’
‘Claude was a dealer and these famous rich men were collectors’, the author writes after extensive interviews with Claude to write her memoirs that never happened.
‘The girl that Claude was selling was basically a luxury “collectible”, like a Warhol painting, a Cartier gem, a Gulfstream jet or a Beverly Hills mansion’.
‘Claude’s blood, sweat, and tears were in “creating” the girls though the ones I met were found and not made’.
‘She was doing for bedrooms what Hollywood agents did for the screen, discovering and brokering talent’.
She was a one-woman and one-time show and very little was known about her. She was the most discreet of criminals and there was no paper trail.
‘For the first half of her career, she was effectively an arm of the state, a very secret service,’ the book states.
‘She was the stuff of gossip, great gossip, great stuff, but never the stuff of tabloids.’
With no close friends, no diaries, no letters, she kept a low profile.
Madame Claude was born Fernande Grudet, a poor Jewish girl in Angers in western France. She had been a resistance fighter, concentration camp survivor, gun moll of the Corsican Mafia and streetwalker before brokering beauty to power.
After leaving LA, she escaped to her cattle ranch in the South Pacific but was caught by Socialist Francois Mitterrand, arrested and sent to prison.
She died in Nice on the French Riveria in 2015 at age 92.
Madame Claude: Her Secret World of Pleasure, Privilege, and Power is available on Amazon.com
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