A former rival of Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss was arrested on allegations of running an international call girl ring that catered to celebrities and the rich, Los Angeles police said Thursday.
For the last nine years, police say, Jody Diane "Babydol" Gibson--also known as Sasha--operated one of the largest illegal escort services in Los Angeles.
A clientele of well over 100 men paid between $500 and $3,000 for the services of Gibson's prostitutes, police said. Detectives declined to identify the clients but said they included well-known actors, producers, a CEO from a Fortune 500 company and a professional athlete. Police said Gibson, 41, kept notes on her customers, logging their appointments, their payment and any fetishes.
"She ran one of the largest operations since Heidi Fleiss," said Det. Steve Park, one of the investigators on the case. "She was very sophisticated and well-known throughout the U.S. and Europe."
Police said Gibson ran a site on the World Wide Web called California Dreamin', with provocative photographs of more than 25 female models.
"All models available upon request," states the Web site, which bills itself as a modeling agency with offices in New York and California.
Lt. Mike Felix, a supervisor in the LAPD's vice section, said Gibson was "very careful" about her clients. New ones had to be referred by an established client or prostitute, he said. The prostitutes included pornographic movie actresses and aspiring actresses, he said.
At one point, police said, Gibson employed as many as 34 women who traveled to Arizona, Colorado, Texas and New York. Gibson also had six women working in Europe, police added.
Gibson was arrested Tuesday during a sting by undercover officers at a West Los Angeles hotel. She was booked on one count of pimping, but faces up to nine felony counts of pimping and pandering. Detectives served search warrants at several locations in Los Angeles and at her home in Palo Verde in Imperial County. She has since been released on $25,000 bail, police said.
Several of Gibson's employees have been arrested for prostitution over the course of the investigation, police said. Additional arrests may be made, and the 10-month investigation is continuing, officials added. Police said they hope other people with information about Gibson's business will come forward. Investigators also said they may interview her clients.
Felix said that detectives found a manuscript in which Gibson appears to chronicle her life as a madam. It details encounters with law enforcement and explains that she originally wanted to open a legitimate talent agency. The typewritten pages also contain an allegation that Fleiss once asked Gibson for a job as an escort.
Police described Gibson as a rival of Fleiss who moved to fill the void when Fleiss' operation was busted by police in the early 1990s. Before her arrest, Fleiss was reputedly the madam to the stars.
Evidence seized by police indicates that some of Fleiss' prostitutes and clients switched to Gibson's business.
Authorities say high-priced prostitution in Los Angeles has been full of bitter rivalries, with madams reporting each other to police when the competition gets tough.
Alex Adams, the Beverly Hills madam whose business was among the longest-running and most successful, would sometimes entertain visitors by picking up the phone and telling police about a madam who was giving her trouble.
In fact, police said the investigation into Gibson came from a tip they received from a woman who claimed she worked for Gibson and was cheated out of money.