Israel’s First Female Pimp
Tal Miller on Angelique Sabag Gautiller and prostitution in Israel
Today on Tablet, as Israel looks to outlaw prostitution, Tal Miller profiles one of the profession’s original gangsters, who now sits in prison.
Gautiller is one of the burgeoning industry’s captains. She made aliyah from France when she was 17, volunteering at Kibbutz Hatzerim before moving to Eilat and getting a job as a waitress. She later headed to the United States, briefly settling in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and then New York, where she sold Israeli music at a store in Manhattan called Hava Nagilah.
In 2002, Gautiller moved back to Israel and settled in Tel Aviv, but her prospects were bleak. In debt and unable to find steady work, she eventually got evicted from her apartment and moved to a cheap Tel Aviv motel where she paid 50 NIS (around $13) a night for a room. “One day I came back from work and my room was burglarized. Everything I had was stolen,” Gautiller told me. “I was devastated. I literally had nothing left.” Finding herself at rock bottom, she turned to an unexpected source: a prostitute living at the motel. “I asked her to help me find a job,” she explained. “I knew her salary wasn’t as awful as other women’s, so I thought it was the best solution I could find. That’s how it started.” She said she found a newspaper ad placed by Kevin Byrne, an Irish pimp, looking for women to work in Ireland. She visited his website and reached out to him via email, and he asked her to come work for him in Dublin. She agreed, traveling to Dublin and settling in as one of Byrne’s call girls.
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