Throughout the years of De Gaulle and Pompidou, she ran a call-girl service of such high quality and exclusivity that she became almost an extension of the French state and was considered to have its protection.

In 1960s PariS, she became known as the world’s most exclusive madam, whose client list was said to include John Kennedy, de Gaulle, Onassis, and multiple Rothschilds, and whose beautiful and cultivated girls often went on to marry wealth, power, and prestige. But among the many secrets Madame Claude kept, perhaps the greatest were her own.

The specialty of the “Claude girls” was that they were indistinguishable from the most beautiful young women you might have seen from the late fifties to the late seventies at Maxim’s restaurant, at Jimmy’z in Montparnasse, or at Castel’s, the perennially fashionable nightclub in the Rue Princesse. They were elegant, trilingual, sortable—they were summoned at short notice to official dinners by the Quai d’Orsay or the Élysée (presidential) Palace.

Madame Claude had about two hundred girls she could call on, with a central core of twenty or thirty favorites. In 1977 she charged Fr 1,500 ($300) for an afternoon, Fr 3,000 ($600) for an evening (eight P.M. to two A.M.), Fr 5,000 ($1,000) for a whole day. Weekends were negotiable. Out of this she would take a 30 percent commission.

– vanity fair

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