Linda Fondren (pictured) is running for mayor of Vicksburg, a 50,000-plus-populated city in Mississippi. So what’s the big deal? The candidate recently acknowledged the fact that she is not only a former prostitute but that her husband was one of her clients, reports the Huffington Post.
When Fondren first got wind of the fact that her lurid past and connection to Sagebrush Ranch, a legal brothel in Nevada, might have caught up with her, she initially attempted to deny the accusations, “These are rumors, and politics is really a business that people do whatever it takes to get things said about people instead of discussing the issues, what concerns people the most,” Fondren told the Clarion Ledger on March 29th.
Eventually, Fondren realized that she could no longer keep her past behind her so she admitted to working as a “lady of the night” some 30-plus years ago at the Nevada brothel:
“I was a working girl in a legal brothel over 30 years ago. It’s true, my husband was my client. My husband and I have been married for 28 years,” Fondren told WLGBT-TV. “I knew it would surface because it was around. I just didn’t think it would surface, and I would be sitting here doing an interview with you today.”
Watch news coverage of Linda Fondren coming out as a former prostitute here:
Prostitution is legal in 11 of Nevada’s 17 counties and is heavily regulated. The New York Times reported in 2012 that around 500 women worked as legal independent contractors in just under 30 brothels in the state.
When asked if she would support prostitution if elected mayor, Fondren says that she was actually vehemently opposed to the controversial profession back when she was participating in it; consequently, she would NOT support it.
Fondren also claims that as a young teen without guidance, she did not freely chose to be a prostitute. Instead, she stumbled in to it due to her mother’s death and the fact that she was a young Mother at age 14, leaving her penniless with no other alternatives.
Since her days as a working girl, Fondren has managed to earn national acclaim in her fight against obesity in Vicksburg. Her 17-week weight loss challenge later evolved into a walking club, which has been touted across the nation.
Fondren was even named a finalist for CNN Hero of the Year in 2010.