Dr. Magnanti was a PhD student working on her thesis at Sheffield University when she decided that prostitution would be a quick, easy and relatively painless way to earn some cash.
Brooke Magnanti (born 5 November 1975) is a research scientist, blogger, and writer, who, until her identity was revealed in November 2009, was known by the pen name Belle de Jour. While completing her doctoral studies, between 2003 and 2004, Magnanti supplemented her income by working as a London call girl. Her diary, published as the anonymous blog Belle de Jour: Diary of a London Call Girl became increasingly popular, as speculation surrounded the identity of Belle de Jour, and whether the diary was real. Remaining anonymous, Magnanti went on to have her experiences published as The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl in 2005 and The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl in 2006. Her first two books were UK top 10 best-sellers in the nonfiction hardback and nonfiction paperback lists. In 2007, Belle's blogs and books were adapted into a television programme, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, starring Billie Piper as Belle, with the real name Hannah Baxter. In November 2009, reportedly fearing her real identity was about to come out, Magnanti revealed her real name and occupation as a child health scientist.