Who is Cynthia Payne?
Cynthia Payne is a retired English party hostess who made the headlines in the 1970s and 1980s when she was acquitted of being a madam and running a brothel at 32 Ambleside Avenue, in Streatham, in the southwestern suburbs of London, England.
Payne first came to national attention in 1978 when police raided her home and found a sex party was in progress. Elderly men paid in Luncheon Vouchers to dress up in lingerie and be spanked by young women. When the case came to trial in 1980, she was sentenced to eighteen months in prison, reduced to a fine and six months on appeal. She served four months in Holloway prison.
In 1986, the police raided her home again, this time during a "special party" she was hosting after shooting the film of her life had been completed. Although she was acquitted on this occasion, the resulting court case in 1987 made headlines for several weeks with lurid tales, some details of which she aired on The Dame Edna Experience in 1987, with co-guests Sir John Mills and Rudolf Nureyev, where she also launched her book, Entertaining at Home. The court case ended her career as a party giver.
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