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Hostess at Presidents Club reveals shocking behaviour of guests

by LLB Reporter
25th Jan 18 10:00 am

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Following the Financial Times report into the Presidents Club Charity Dinner, a second woman who waitressed at the event has spoken anonymously to ITVNews about her experience of the event, her fears for the younger girls working there and her shock at David Meller’s role organising the event.

TRANSCRIPT:

Q. When did you feel uneasy about the job you were being asked to do?

“I think initially it was when I got given the dress. We had to hand phones in. We were handed a short mini skirt dress which was very revealing on the side. It showed parts of your breasts. I saw a girl in it and it gave me a shock. So that’s when I started getting uneasy. I realised quite soon it was an odd job. It wasn’t a usual job. And the way the men behaved made me feel incredibly uncomfortable.

Q. What happened when you went in to the room?

“I had a table and had to look after that table and pour them drinks. On my table the men weren’t too badly behaved but on the table next to me, within five minutes a girl was sitting on a guy’s lap. Sitting next to men. Men pouring drinks down girls’ throats. Yes there were some girls there who didn’t mind that but there were equally girls who hated it and felt very uncomfortable.”

Q. You’re in your 20’s. What was the age range of the hostesses?

“I’d say it was between 18…some there that were about 45 who had some surgery and maybe looked younger but it went up to that age.”

Q. Some very young women there…What did you think about that?

“I was worried for them. A lot of them hadn’t done it before. Some had and knew what it was about and it was a fun time for them to get drunk but the women who hadn’t done it before. When it started there was a look around the room. Is this real? Is this actually happening? Some of them looked really worried. And also the fact that the agency would not let us leave the room. We had to talk to men. If you went to the bar or to the toilet… You weren’t allowed to sit down. You weren’t allowed to have a breather. Every time we had a bit of downtime you’d have an agency worker who would come and tell you talk to a man who was looking upset or low or lonely.”

Q. The whole environment was quite intimidating?

“Very intimidating. I couldn’t wait until 2am came.”

Q. What happened at the after party? Things got worse?

“Everyone got more and more drunk, including the girls. There were a lot of girls who were really drunk. One girl was sick in the toilets. There were other girls who entered the room in the after party who about five of them maybe who had different coloured dresses on and acted more provocatively.

Q. What colour was their dress?

“Red. They were wearing red dresses. And they were acting very provocatively around the men. Kissing men almost instantly. It was really shocking to see.”

Q. Do you think they were actually sex workers who were paid to go there?

“Yes. I’m 100% sure.” 

Q. People signed up to be waitresses you believe who had been asked to come to be paid for sex?

“Yes. I was really wary of it and I was disgusted that was happening. I was worried about some of the girls who were talking to men. The men were treating them like sex workers. They were putting hands up skirts. Touching inappropriately. Some guys kissing other girls. It was uncomfortable.

Q. Not like any other waitressing job you’ve ever done?

“No. It was completely different. You were allowed to drink. All of that. And also the fact that initially the agency said you could only have a small glass of wine but actually they were walking around while people were legless and not helping, not stopping them.”

Q. Did you see any men leave who were also uncomfortable?

“No. But I did speak to lots of men who were uncomfortable. One guy said ‘is this happening? I’ve never been to this event before, it’s really odd’. One guy said ‘I wouldn’t want my daughter to go through this’.”

Q. When you first came into the room…Can you describe what happened?

“We walked on stage in diagonal lines one girl after another, to a song, Bang Bang. It was very dramatic. Lots of lights and it was really uncomfortable in those short dresses to be exposed like that actually. I felt… I was one of the first to go on. Some of the girls loved it and were flicking their hair and liked it but a lot of girls were walking on covering themselves. Didn’t enjoy it. I don’t think they expected to wear a dress that short. It was very tight. It was not flattering.” 

Q. What was the overall message? That you were play things of men?

“We were play things. We were objects for them to gawp at, touch. To be laughed at. One girl got laughed at because she pronounced her name in a certain way and he questioned her about the name and brushed her away and told her to go away. They were acting like we were objects and there for their entertainment.”

Q. When you heard that one of the organisers, David Meller, was an advisor for the Dept of Education, was on the board, what did you think?

“I found that shocking. I can’t believe he was one…he was there when we were getting ready at one point. He was on the stage. He knew exactly what was going on I think. It’s disgusting really that should happen and that he should be allowed to run a thing an event like this.”

Q. He’s stood down now from his role at the Department but was a Minister there for Family and Children. What do you make of that?

“Again it’s not impressive, it’s disgusting that they let this happen. That women around them being objectified and humiliated.”

Q. What did it all make you feel?

“I could not wait until 2am came and we could leave. I felt quite disgusted and quite upset afterwards actually.”

Q. You mention these women in red dresses at the after party…was there colour coding going on?

“We were wearing black and they were wearing red. I don’t know if they were hired by the same agency or they were different. I didn’t know but they were definitely more promiscuous. They came in and were immediately kissing people. I don’t know many hostess jobs that pay you to do that! They were quite happy to have…you know I saw a few men with their hands up their skirts.”

Q. You say some women seemed to be happy…there were others who were clearly upset?

“At the after party there were lots of women looking deflated, as was I. I made friends with two girls and we counted down the minutes. I didn’t feel comfortable accepting drinks. We weren’t drunk and having a good time. We were waiting to go home. People were saying why didn’t people leave but you know by the time we had realised what was going on, the extent of it. That after party was at 12, we had two hours left and we could sit down. It was bizarre to witness it but I think a lot of the girls were really upset. They thought we’ll just push through until 2am.”

Q. This Club I understand has announced it will close. Clearly what went on has destroyed its reputation. Are you pleased it has closed down?

“Yes I’m really pleased. It’s a dated idea that you can have an all-male club with women as hostesses. Alarm bells did go in the interview but I didn’t think it would be as bad as it was. I thought it would be…I’ve done events before where you just serve drinks and wait around. I didn’t think it would be this seedy. We were paid to party and get as drunk as we could.”

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