The police said Josie Daly was 'in the premier league of London madams', making millions out of the Aqua Sauna on Hornsey Road and two other saunas (only one of which had a sauna).
She claimed to be shocked, shocked that anything illegal was going on in her establishments. Then she was fined £2m and opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate having dodged a jail sentence.
The story made the nationals, who wrote about her house (named 'Bunty's corner' after a dog buried in the garden), her white Rolls-Royce, the 1000-1500 men who visited her saunas every week and (magnificently) that she had advertised in the British Transport Police's official magazine.
The journalists made the Aqua Sauna sound like it belonged in:
A) an x-rated Whisky Galore: 'Daly was wheeled from court past flowers and pot plants from well-wishers stacked against a wall. Messages included one from ''a customer" which read: "Keep smiling, the end is near." ';
B) an N7 Lilya 4 Ever: 'Fiona was 21 when she worked for Daly. "She was the worst brothel owner I ever worked for," she said. "OK, so she didn't rape or beat me like most of the male pimps did, but she was cruel and nasty. We had to work 12-hour shifts and ask her permission to go and buy a sandwich." '; or
C) Juvenal's Satires: 'one would suppose that in a "grown-up" world, there would be no hiddenness, no shame, no furtive visits to Josie Daly's massage establishments'
I don't know which of these takes is closest to the truth. I can guess and you can probably guess what my guess would be, but my biases aren't evidence. I do know, however, that all this happened in 2000 and that I took this photograph last month:
They didn't even change the name.