The City of Amsterdam wanted to hire a consultant to formulate a better policy for managing prostitution in the city.
Mayor Mr. Van der Laan and Councilman Mr. Asscher hired Ms. Valérie Lempereur, a journalist. She had published an “autobiography” under the pen name Patricia Perquin. In her book “Behind the windows in the Red Light District”, she tells her “true story” as a prostitute.
As 'Patricia Perquin', she also penned a series of articles for the Dutch newspapers Het Parool and AD. Based on these articles and her “autobiography”, she was hired as a consultant. In this capacity, she submitted various recommendations that were included in the City’s official Prostitution Plan.
Fellow journalists started digging into the background of Ms. Lempereur. They quickly found out that she could never have worked full time as prostitute for 4.5 years as claimed in her “autobiography”. It turned out that during those years, she was managing the now defunct publishing house “Lampedaire” in Antwerp, Belgium, for at least two years. She also worked in Holland and Belgium as a society and crime reporter for various magazines including NieuweRevu, Story, TV Familie en Het Laatste Nieuws.
The newspaper De Volkskrant interviewed 25 acquaintances of Ms. Lempereur. Several did not want to go on record out of fear for repercussions.
Not without reason: the three newspapers “de Volkskrant”, “het Parool” and “AD” are all part of the same media group (“de Persgroep”, CEO Mr. Christian Van Thillo). Lempereur worked for years at the Belgian branch of the group.
Many of the well-known acquaintances accuse her of lying and fraud. The crime reporter Peter R. de Vries fired her from his program due to multiple cases of fraud.
Lempereur tried to get an injunction against the Volkskrant newspaper. She asked the court to forbid the newspaper to publish her true identity. The judge dismissed her case.
The Mayer and Councilman declined to comment.
The scandal (not her first one!) will not harm the sales figures of her books. She has already published her second novel as Patricia Perquin, The theme is this time the victims of lover boys.
As for her “autobiography - booksellers will just move it to the fiction section.