Earlier this year, we devoted extensive coverage to the Akin Gump Escort. She was the legal secretary at Akin Gump who worked for powerhouse lawyer John Dowd by day, and alleged D.C. madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey by night.
Courtesy of WTOP, we now know more about the close working relationship between the Akin Gump Escort and the D.C. Madam:
“Why did you do this to me? I never did anything to you.”
That accusatory two-sentence e-mail from alleged D.C. madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey to an escort she considered her “little sister” and one of her most trusted confidantes came moments after Palfrey realized her assets had been frozen by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
“My first thought because of the timing was that (Jennifer) was working with the government,” writes Palfrey, in a series of e-mails to WTOP.
“Jennifer” was the name escort customers knew for a legal secretary at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, a prominent D.C. law firm. The woman was fired in May 2007, shortly after revealing to the firm that she had moonlighted for Palfrey’s Pamela Martin & Associates between 2002 and 2006.
Fired? She should have been promoted, due to her intimate knowledge of servicing clients.
More discussion after the jump.
Deborah Jeane Palfrey initially thought that “Jennifer” had ratted her out, but changed her mind:
On Oct. 4, 2006, when Palfrey learned her assets had been frozen and her home searched by federal agents as part of a joint Internal Revenue Service-U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigation, she initially believed “Jennifer” provided the government with the impetus to bring a criminal case against her….
“I immediately backed off,” Palfrey writes. “I have continued to maintain she — like the other escorts — probably is a victim.”
So Palfrey is standing by “Jennifer.” But “Jennifer” isn’t going to prison for Palfrey:
WTOP is not identifying “Jennifer” by her given name, as she has not been charged with any crimes. Her lawyer confirms his client has been contacted by the prosecution, and at trial would testify against Palfrey.
“If my client is called as a witness, she intends to testify,” says Athan Tsimpedes, attorney for “Jennifer.”
If you’re trying to imagine what “Jennifer” looks like, here’s fodder for your fantasies:
[T]he escort’s phone number appears 1,052 times in Palfrey’s records between April 3, 2002 and May 21, 2006.
“She was in her late 20s, a five foot and no inches tall, pretty, busty blonde,” writes Palfrey.
A recent traffic citation lists the former Akin Gump employee as 5 feet tall and 110 pounds.
In her day job, WTOP has learned “Jennifer” was a legal secretary for John M. Dowd, the head of Akin Gump’s criminal litigation group.
(The John Dowd tidbit is nothing new. We reported it back in May.)
On Oct. 2, 2006, two days before Palfrey’s home was searched and her assets frozen, “Jennifer” broached the subject of reuniting. In e-mails from her Akin Gump account obtained by WTOP, she typed, “Just wanted to drop you a line to see if there is another contact number for me to call in case I wanted to pick up a few nights or has everything been shut down?”
Palfrey, in Europe at the time, informed “Jennifer” that she’d closed her business in August.
But Palfrey, who even helped buy Jennifer a horse farm, was still looking out for her well-endowed protégé:
Palfrey was willing to consider passing-along her business to Jennifer.
“It is plain ‘foolish’ to take a perfectly viable revenue stream (of any kind) and just throw it away, without solid justification,” Palfrey wrote.
From the BLT: “Might not have been a bad option for Jennifer, who now works in debt collection.”
Maybe Akin Gump could hire Jennifer back, and sic her on clients who are dragging their feet on paying their bills? It might be a way for the firm to avoid the spectacle of litigation:
“She was wrongfully fired. Akin Gump did her an injustice. She was imprisoned by her firing. It doesn’t take much to figure out who she was,” [Jennifer's attorney Athan] Tsimpedes says.
Will “Jennifer” sue Akin Gump for wrongful termination? Stay tuned. It remains to be seen whether this story will have a happy ending.
Update: Our favorite comment thus far:
The 1,052 calls in the phone log don’t necessarily mean 1,052 clients serviced, but [Jennifer] was clearly meeting her billables target. She was in discussion to become an equity partner when the firm dissolved. Is she lateralling to another DC area firm? With her book, I’m sure she could go anywhere.
E-Mails Expose Inner Workings of Palfrey’s Escort Service [WTOP]
The Madam’s Mail [BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]