A woman who advertised herself as a £1,000 escort online claims she thought she was just joining a dating website.
Last week The Scarborough News revealed benefit claimant Sarah Tulip was charging punters hundreds of pounds for an “unforgettable” time – despite pleading poverty in court.
Now in an exclusive interview, the 38-year-old admits she used to sell sex but no longer does – not least because she doesn’t own a bed.
“If I’ve been making a grand a night, the first thing I would do would be to go buy a bed,” she said.
“It’s been really difficult. I’ve been sleeping on the floor for three months without a bed.”
At Scarborough Magistrates’ Court, Tulip’s court account was topped up with extra fees after pleading guilty to drunk and disorderly.
She claimed she could only pay back £5 a week, despite several clients on her adultwork.com profile claiming they’d exchanged cash for sex.
However Tulip, of Northstead, claims she joined the website because she had been single for three years and thought it was a “dating website”.
“When I found out I took the pictures off straight away. I wouldn’t dare do that. It’s something of the past for me,” she said.
“I do respect myself, I wouldn’t dare sell myself – what for?
“When I was in court they understood, they know I’ve been a prostitute in the past.”
However sources close to her case told The Scarborough News they had “no idea” about her double life.
“When I saw the story on the front of the paper, I was open mouthed - nobody here knew,” said the source. “I know Sarah has problems but this was clearly a secret.”
Those problems, the court heard, involved her mental health and Tulip claims she is bipolar and a manic depressive. She blames mental health services for not providing her with enough support, adding: “You can’t see mental health.
“When you’re in a wheelchair, people know you have got a problem. All I’ve ever done is cope on my own.”
However she may face a fresh probe over the findings of our investigation.
We passed the findings over to the Department of Work and Pensions, and while the benefit body refused to state if it was investigating Tulip, a spokesperson for Yorkshire Coast Homes said she may have breached the terms of her tenancy agreement with them. They said: “While inappropriate sexual behaviour as alleged in the news media may effectively breach the terms of the Yorkshire Coast Homes Tenancy Agreement, no decision on Ms Tulip’s future with Yorkshire Coast Homes will be made before we have had the opportunity to undertake a full and factual investigation.”
Yet despite protesting her innocence, some sex industry workers have cast doubt on Tulip’s claims.
One sex worker told The Scarborough News that Tulip had been working as an escort since moving to Scarborough in 2014.
“She knows full well what the site is for,’ she said.
And an ex-photographer for the website said the reason for a picture posted by Tulip posing with the Adultwork name confirms she was seeking adult work and not being forced against her will.