I-Team Report: The Notorious Madam Rose

November 23, 2010 8:31:49 PM PST
Chicago's most infamous keeper of the ladies is out of prison. She talked publicly for the first time to investigative reporter Chuck Goudie.

"The Notorious Madam Rose" has a real name: Rose Laws. She is best known by her title: Madam of the Gold Coast. She's now 75, but for more than three decades in Chicago Rose Laws supplied expensive prostitutes to the wealthy, the powerful and the celebrated. Her customers' names were written in code in her personal black book.

There was one copy of her customer directory. Rose Laws wrote it, listing five thousand customers, including politicians, who paid top dollar for sex.

"All kinds of law men. They were good customers," said Laws.

And they paid for silence.

"Yeah, the whole thing was all basketball players ... I had movie stars, lots of movie stars ... comics from Second City ... I had a lot of Blackhawks as customers," said Laws.

Her clientele was golden; their playground was the Gold Coast. For 30 years, from apartments across Chicago's wealthiest zip codes, Rose Laws deployed prostitutes at rates up to $900 an hour.

"Over the years how many girls worked for you?" Chuck Goudie asked Laws. She replied, "More than a thousand ... I got 40-percent, the girl got 60-percent but the girl had to pay rent if she stayed at one of our apartments."

Those call girls who worked for the Gold Coast madam were part of a coast-to-coast franchise known as "The Circuit," servicing clients from Chicago to Boston, Miami to New Orleans and Los Angeles.

In 2002, one prostitute went to federal authorities after a sex customer from the Middle East had warned about a coming terror attack worse than 9/11.

An investigation that followed exposed the call girl operation and ended business as usual for the notorious Madam Rose. In 2003 she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 22 months.

After Rose Laws was released from federal prison and moved to Sarasota, Florida, the I-Team contacted her and asked her for an interview. At the time, she said she was still trying to get her life together, but would give us a call when she was ready. That call came a few weeks ago.

Why? Laws says she talked to the I-Team because it has been such a hard fall for someone who still relishes her reputation as the Gold Coast madam.

Laws says she is broke and is banking her future on a book she has written and is trying to get published.

"We went bankrupt. We have no money, none, zilch," said Laws.

The divorced mother of five reared her young children in this suburban motel that doubled as her call girl booking office.

"Did you find anything odd about the fact that you were raising five kids and running a prostitution business?" Goudie asked her. "No, they never knew," she said.

The book she wants published begins: "Men want sex. Men need sex. And men will pay for sex." She has photos of her best call girls, some of her best customers and the worst, including, she claims, some members of the Super Bowl champion Bears of 1985.

"Had three Bears who hurt three of my girls really badly. Girls had to go to the hospital .. It was awful. What they did to the girls ... three of the Bears players took them into a hot tub and put their heads down in the water ... before they would let them come up to breathe. It almost killed them," Laws said.

And she is still angry about another man: Dennis Rodman who played on three of the world champion Chicago Bulls teams in the late 1990s.

"Oh, he took me for a bunch of money," said Laws. "I sent him two of my youngest, most beautiful girls, and they had a party at the Ambassador [hotel], and they had the whole floor, and I told the girls without a shadow of a doubt six times, you collect up front from each and every one of them. Well, Dennis told them I will pay all of it, don't worry about collecting. So, he didn't pay a penny," said Laws.

"Why are you willing to name him?" Goudie asked Laws. "Because I hate what he did," she said.

The I-Team invited Dennis Rodman to respond to what Laws told us. Through a spokesman he declined.

Professional athletes weren't the only ones demanding discretion from the gold coast madam. Wednesday night at 10: Rose Laws talks about the Chicago mobsters who were her friends and politicians, police and judges in her black book.


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