Editor’s note: When Annie Lobert first heard that former NBA player Lamar Odom was found unconscious during his two-day, $75,000 stay in a Nevada brothel, she thought back to her own days as a call girl in Vegas.

She saw the darker side of fame whenever athletes and celebrities hired her as an escort. They drank, got high, and watched porn; their wealth didn’t buy happiness, but only offered more extravagant opportunities to clamor for fulfillment, she said.

While some assume women working for escort services and legal brothels like Love Ranch (where Odom was found) get into the industry freely, Lobert points out in her autobiography, Fallen, that many of them still operate under the authority of a pimp. Even these setups can function as a form of sex trafficking in which women do not receive the money they make and cannot leave the arrangement without consequences.

Lobert, founder and president of the ministry Hookers for Jesus, shares this reflection on her life as an escort as a reminder of the darkness and brokenness wrapped up in both sides of sex work in Las Vegas. The following is an adapted excerpt from her autobiography.

I could barely contain my excitement. Even though I hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours, I was wide-awake, running on the adrenaline of making so much money my first night in this gambling and party mecca.

The Strip was calm as we made our way home. The sun shone as yawning tourists headed to the famous breakfast buffets. We purred down the street in her sports car. I feasted on the sights of more hotels and casinos than I had ever seen.

When we walked in the door, our boyfriends were watching TV on the black leather couch. Clicking her heels on the white tiled floor, ...

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