Belle’s father ‘shocked and broken hearted’

The father of Research scientist Dr Brooke Magnanti is reportedly devastated by the revelation that his only daughter is the woman behind The Secret Diary of a Call Girl books, blog and TV series...

The father of Research scientist Dr Brooke Magnanti is reportedly feeling ‘shocked’ and surprised by the revelation that his only daughter is the woman behind The Secret Diary of a Call Girl books, blog and TV series, starring Billie Piper.

American-born Dr Magnanti, 34, who works for Bristol University, rang her mother to tell her in person about her past as a sex worker, and her alter ego Belle de Jour. According to reports in the Telegraph, her mother was ‘fully supportive’ when she heard the news,telling her daughter she was ‘not the one to judge’.

But the former Catholic school girl has not yet contacted her estranged father, with whom she has had no contact for three years and who is divorced from her mother.

Paul Magnanti, a gardener who lives in the town of Holiday on the west coast of Florida, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘This is a complete shock to me. I had no idea, I found out through the press today. It’s broken my heart. No parent wants to hear that. I was very proud when she got her PhD. She is a very intelligent girl and I wish she had become well-known under different circumstances. I would rather things had worked out differently but it’s her life to live.’

Dr Magnanti, who came to England to study for a doctorate at Sheffield University, has said she turned to prostitution after moving to London to finish her studies and finding she did not have enough money to pay the rent.

“Throughout high school she had a normal behaviour,’ her father said. ‘It’s not like she had a different boy each week. If she had a boyfriend she would often bring him to the house and I would get to meet him. They were respectful and nice.’

There are some plus points however. Mr Magnanti, who said he lost touch completely with his daughter told the Telegrpaph his daughter’s past could be a good thing, ‘because it gives me an opportunity to get in touch with my daughter again. That’s a welcome turn of events – I miss her very much’.


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