The UK papers are all, ahem, a-Twitter, about this story: Scientist announces that she is call girl and blogger Belle de Jour.
It seems that one of the leading 'sex bloggers' in the UK took up the oldest profession in order to pay for her 'education habit'—her Ph.D.
Magnanti said she was working on a doctoral study for the department of forensic pathology of Sheffield University in 2003 when she began her secret life. “I was getting ready to submit my thesis. I saved up a bit of money. I thought, I'll just move to London, because that's where the jobs are, and I'll see what happens.
“I couldn't find a professional job in my chosen field because I didn't have my PhD yet. I didn't have a lot of spare time on my hands because I was still making corrections and preparing for the viva and I got through my savings a lot faster than I thought I would.”
Unable to pay her rent, Magnanti's mind turned to other things. She told the Sunday Times she wanted to start doing something straightaway, “that doesn't require a great deal of training or investment to get started, that's cash in hand and that leaves me spare time to do my work in” Her solution was prostitution.
Full Sunday Times story here.
You have to wonder about a world in which a person decides that the optimal way to finance a Ph.D. in informatics, epidemiology and forensic science is hooking, however (apparently) happy. Even at £300 an hour.
(No idea if the fact that she went to high school in Florida is relevant.)
On her blog she says, yes, I paid my taxes. It seems that is what people wanted to know.