While the average American makes about $37,000 per year, a super high-end prostitute can make over $40,000 in a single night working at Cannes during the famous film festival.
The range of women who work as prostitutes at Cannes’ luxury hotels during the Cannes Film Festival is staggering, from full-time escorts to models, actresses and beauty queens.
A man who was arrested in 2007 for allegedly running a prostitution ring in Cannes has spoken up about the culture, and how girls who make it aboard million-dollar yachts are able to walk away with what many would consider a yearly salary for a night’s “work.”
“They can make up to $40,000 a night,” said Elie Nahas, who is currently appealing his 8-year prison sentence.
“Arabs are the most generous people in the world. If they like you, they will give you a lot of money.
“At Cannes, they carry money around in wads of 10,000 euros. To them, it’s just like paper,” he explained. “They don’t even like to count it. They’ll just hand it to the girls without thinking.”
Nahas owns a modeling agency based out of Beirut, and while he denies operating the prostitution ring, he admits that he “knows the system.”
“It’s all done with hand signals,” he explained. “The guys signal their room numbers with their hands and the girls follow them.”
While the culture in the hotels is one thing, the transactions on the yachts are the serious ones.
“Every year during the festival there are 30 or 40 luxury yachts in the bay at Cannes, and every boat belongs to a very rich person,” said Nahas.
“Every boat has about 10 girls on it; they are usually models, and they are usually nude or half nude. . . The girls are all waiting for their envelopes at the end of the night. It’s been going on there for 60 years.”
The world’s oldest profession has the working girls as excited for festival season as anybody.
“We all look forward to it,” said Daisey, a local prostitute in Cannes who has her own website. “There’s a lot of competition because there are so many girls, but the local ones have an advantage. We know the hotel concierges.”
I wonder if this sort of thing would ever catch on at Sundance.