Dark Side of the Cannes Film Festival: 'Yacht Girls' and the Underbelly of Prostitution
This seedy underbelly of the festival involves these escorts charging exorbitant rates of up to €1,000 per hour aboard luxury yachts floating in the French Riviera. While the festival showcases red carpet premieres and Hollywood A-listers, an investigation by MailOnline has shed light on the hidden world of prostitution that coexists with the glitz and glamour.
Luxury hotels in Cannes become a hub for upscale call girls from across Europe, who discreetly cater to the affluent clientele attending the festival. These 'putes de luxes' charge premium prices to ensure their clients' privacy and bypass strict anti-prostitution laws in France. However, a more subtle form of prostitution occurs on the superyachts hosting Hollywood executives, film companies, and wealthy film enthusiasts. Models, aspiring actresses, and Instagram influencers receive invitations to parties or stay on board these luxurious vessels, indulging in the opulence and flowing champagne. In some cases, it is expected that these 'yacht girls' show their gratitude to their hosts by engaging in sexual activities with them or other guests.
While explicit price lists are absent, the yacht girls typically receive cash-filled envelopes as a token of appreciation at the end of their stay. On land, escorts charge customers by the hour, with increased rates during the festival due to high demand. Tips and gifts from affluent Middle Eastern clients further enhance their earnings. MailOnline encountered one escort outside the renowned Le Majestic hotel, where rates soared to €2,000 per night during the festival. The escort, named Klara, shared her experiences, highlighting the lucrative nature of her profession and the importance of discretion.
The investigation also uncovered escorts traveling to Cannes exclusively for the festival's duration. Some escorts accept credit card payments, ensuring discreet transaction descriptions appear on statements. Profiles of escorts advertising their services during the festival were found on websites like Euro Girls Escort. These escorts, such as Alica and Marina, offer their companionship at varying rates and describe themselves as refined, cultured, and passionate.
The presence of privately owned superyachts at the Port de Cannes marina and Port Pierre Canto marina further emphasizes the festival's opulence. Ship tracking data reveals the sheer number of luxurious vessels, some costing over $2 million per week to rent, anchored around the Bay of Cannes and nearby areas. Crew members of these mega yachts acknowledge the presence of yacht girls at parties, which is considered an open secret. Although the use of escorts has become more discreet in recent years due to France's anti-prostitution laws and the influence of the MeToo movement, the blurring of lines between models, actresses, and escorts remains prevalent.
The dark history of a prostitution ring exposed during the 2007 Cannes film festival showcases the extent to which the sex industry has intertwined with the event in the past. The investigation uncovered shocking details of the involvement of influential individuals and the exploitation of women. Despite subsequent measures to address these issues, the presence of high-class escorts continues, intertwining with the extravagant lifestyle associated with the Cannes Film Festival.
This disturbing reality exposes the stark contrast between the public image of Cannes and the hidden world of prostitution that persists beneath the surface. The allure of fame, wealth, and power attracts escorts and individuals seeking their services, blurring the boundaries between the film industry, celebrity culture, and the sex trade.