Army hero’s past as a male stripper

FACING down the Taliban in the life-threatening theatre of war is all in a day’s work for Lee Morris.

But it was not that long ago the former professional stripper was running away from a gang of women looking to rip his pants off.

Lee hit the headlines this week for helping to save fellow injured soldiers on the front line in Afghanistan. He was one of nine members of the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment caught up in a gun battle in the Upper Gereshk Valley in Helmand Province.

Lee, of Nantyglo, Blaenau Gwent, suffered shrapnel wounds but raced into dangerous territory on a quad bike to rescue injured comrades. But for five years, the 28-year-old led a completely different life.

The former upholstery worker was part of the world famous Dreamboys and would jet off to sun-drenched islands and perform in his alter egos as Blaze and Stryker.

“Lee absolutely loved it,” said his dad Mickey, 48.

“I think he just plucked the names Blaze and Stryker from the air. His first gig was in the Manor Hotel in Crickhowell in 2000. I’m not sure how he got into it but I know he used to laugh when I would take my top off and dance after having a few drinks.”

After the gigs built up in his home town, Lee was spotted by a professional stripper linked to the Dreamboys.

“Lee would get lots of requests to do 40th or 18-year-old birthday parties,” said Mickey, who owns eight Welsh Cob Stallions and has been showing them off at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells.

“He would go around Brynmawr and Blaina, entertaining the women. My advice to him was always, be careful. Sometimes he ended up doing freebies and it cost him to put on shows because he used to buy props. When he was asked to join the Dreamboys, he travelled to lots of Spanish resorts such as Playa del Ingles and across the Canaries.

“He’d go out there for the summer then come home for Christmas and spend all his money, before going back out. He did that for about three years.”

But it didn’t always run smoothly.

Mickey said: “There was one gig in Birmingham when things got out of control. There were about 2,000 women in the audience and some were asked to join the dancers. All of a sudden, about a dozen climbed up and stormed the stage, knocking people over. Lee legged it.”

Lee eventually split with the group and went solo, performing as a kissogram, collecting all manner of suits.

“One night I was lying on the settee and Lee came in,” said Mickey, who used to spar with Joe Calzaghe in his Newbridge gym.

“He was carrying a small axe over his shoulder and he had a big grin on his face. I said, ‘what have you been up to tonight?’. He turned round and said, ‘I’ve been awesome’. What I meant was, who did he dress up as – a fireman as it turned out. That’s Lee in a nutshell. Full of life and ready for anything. He absolutely loved to strut his stuff.”

However, there were nights when Lee was left stranded in a pub with no clothes.

Mickey, who worked for British Coal for 12 years and is now manager at Ebbw Vale Festival Park, said: “Sometimes there were people – boyfriends or husbands, for example – who didn’t like the idea of a stripper performing. I had a call one night from Lee, asking me to take him his spare car keys. Someone had pinched his gear and he was left naked.”

Lee drifted out of stripping by training as a hairdresser in Cardiff and also went into modelling, before signing up for the Army.

“I don’t know what persuaded him to sign up,” said Mickey.

“He could’ve seen an advert in a magazine and thought, I’ll have some of that. Lee is impulsive and acts on the spur of the moment. But I really do think he’ll excel in the Army. At first I thought it was a status thing for him, so he could tell people he was a Paratrooper. But he’s committed and has made some close friends. He has experienced some pretty horrendous things in Afghanistan and spoken about the terror of bombs going off close by. As a father, obviously I worry about him and want him to be safe.”

Lee is due home on leave and his dad can’t wait. “I’m thinking of organising some kind of party for him.

“Maybe I’ll book some strippers,” Mickey said.

Vice girl apology, sorry for Mosley's wife

The blonde wife of a former intelligence officer - known during Mr Mosley's privacy case against England's News of the World as Woman E - was paid by the newspaper to record spanking and bondage sessions he enjoyed with her and four other women.

But she failed to give evidence during the two-week hearing at the High Court because of her "emotional and mental state".

The woman emerged from hiding on Friday night to give a TV interview but refused to give her full name even though her face was shown.

Using the name "Michelle", she said she felt sympathy for Mr Mosley's wife of 48 years, Jean.

"I feel really sorry for her and her family - of what they have gone through, it must have been absolutely devastating," she said.

Michelle, who has posed for pictures as a dominatrix, said the Formula One boss had acted as an inmate in a German prison scenario where other women wore German uniforms, but she denied the News of the World's claim there were Nazi overtones.

"I know for a fact that it was spoken about that Max actually found it quite a turn-on to speak to them in German. He liked the German language," she said.

The mother of two said she'd been "stupid and naive" to set up Mr Mosley, 68.

On Friday, Mr Mosley - son of 1930s British fascist leader Oswald Mosley - was awarded $125,000 damages for invasion of privacy.

Legal experts said the 54-page ruling could have implications for press freedom and investigations into the rich and famous.

Three force Mass. girl to work as prostitute

A Vineland man and two others face weapons and child endangerment charges after they allegedly held a teenage girl against her will, forcing her to work as a prostitute in Atlantic City, according to police.

Officers in Absecon recovered the juvenile, a Massachusetts girl, Tuesday night from a Super Lodge Motel, on White Horse Pike, following a call from the teenager's mother stating her daughter had been kidnapped and was being held at the roadside motel.

The girl told officers her captors used a stun gun to force her into prostitution, working in Atlantic City.

The group had reportedly been moving around, staying in various motels for at least a week prior.

According to police, the alleged captors arrived at the motel room shortly after officers arrived, and were arrested without incident.

Javon R. Gordon, 26, of Vineland, faces one charge of unlawful possession of a weapon, a stun gun, and were lodged in Atlantic County Jail on $1,000 bail.

Colleen M. Stapleton, 18, of Somers Point, is charged with promoting prostitution and endangering the welfare of a child. She sits inside Atlantic County Jail on $1,000.

Police arrested Marlando S. Forrester, 25, of Pompano Beach, Fla., as a fugitive out of his home state.

Ho Ihn Shin, 34, from Philadelphia, was arrested on outstanding traffic warrants, processed and released.

The girl was treated and released from an area hospital and is now home in Massachusetts, according to a statement issued by the Absecon Police Department.

Police said the investigation will continue.

Authorities would not give out the exact age of the victim, or when she was first allegedly detained, stating only that she is under the age of 18.

Prostitute had £14,000 on body

Malaysian national Nor Azmi Bin Mohammad, 31, is understood to have been charging clients 350 euros an hour for her services while working in NI.

A forfeiture order for the seized cash was granted because she did not have legal immigration status.

A PSNI lawyer for the PSNI said the money was "tainted with unlawfulness".

A defence barrister said Mohammad, who did not attend the hearing, was interviewed after being stopped at the airport on Wednesday and admitted being a transsexual prostitute.

"Whilst there's nothing illegal in that in itself, further inquiries actually indicated that Mohammad was an illegal entrant to the country," he said.

Man held at gunpoint by alleged prostitute

A man who visited an alleged prostitute on his way to work Friday ended up being held at gunpoint by the woman after the two had a disagreement over payment, police said.

The man ran from the woman's apartment and called police after the woman's boyfriend grabbed the gun from her.

Liberty Henegan, 18, of Oakland, was later arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment.

The incident began at 5:30 a.m. at Hidden Creek apartments on Fig Tree Lane.

The man told officers he met Henegan on and arranged to meet her at the complex in order to have sex for money, Detective Mike Estanol said.

"He was on his way to work (before the incident)," Estanol said. "They disagreed over the payment."

The woman took out a gun and held him in the apartment until 5:42 a.m., when another man, later identified as the Henegan's boyfriend, walked in and grabbed the gun from her.

No one was hurt during the altercation, Estanol said.

Officers evacuated several apartments as a precaution and then found the boyfriend and the gun hidden near a garbage bin. The boyfriend told officers that he and Henegan had a 3-year-old child who was still in the apartment.

Henegan was arrested and booked at County Jail. Her bail was set at $100,000. The child was taken by Child Protective Services.

Estanol said police will not pursue solicitation

N. Illinois professor took it all off for his career

At 39, Craig Seymour has a resume most journalists would envy: a doctorate and stints as a music critic at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Buffalo News. But he has also worked one job even George Plimpton would shy away from: stripper in Washington, D.C., gay bars during the 1990s.

Seymour, who starts teaching journalism at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb this fall, has a new memoir, "All I Could Bare" (Atria, 243 pages, $23), about life in a G-string. We met up with him on a recent apartment-hunting trip to Chicago, where he discussed the connections between writing aspirations and onstage gyrations:

Q: How did you go from grad student to stripper?

A: It's complicated. One of the first gay bars I ever went to was a strip club, and it was great; I could express my desire for guys and not get my butt kicked. I ended up studying them as part of my graduate school experience [his doctorate is in American studies] at the University of Maryland—interviewing dancers and patrons—and I had a dancer tell me, "If you're so interested in this, why don't you strip?" So I decided to try it. I had never been interested in it before. But maybe I wanted to do it all along.

Q: When you first took your clothes off, what surprised you the most?

A: After the first few minutes, I wasn't scared. I was exhilarated. I was a graduate student, and until then my life was very safe. But I was becoming something new and exciting. It felt great.

Q: You say disrobing made your reporting career possible. How so?

A: It gave me the courage to take risks in other areas of my life—and one of those risks was to go into journalism. I came from a family that stressed making safe choices. Graduate school was a fallback plan, but that's not where my heart was. Stripping was like breaking out of a jail.

Q: How is the rush of stage like or unlike that of deadline?

A: They're different states. Stripping was a personal challenge: "How will I feel being naked in front of all those people?" My heart was racing; I was sweating. With celebrity interviews, it was about: "Can I establish a rapport? Will the person like me? Will the editors like the piece?" It was a much more mental experience, and there was the career goal too. With stripping, if I failed, I might've been embarrassed. But that was it; if it didn't work out, who would've known or cared?

Q: Teaching is like being onstage. Any parallels you see?

A: As a stripper, you are playing a fantasy role to get money out of customers. But when I teach, I'm much more myself and trying to help students live up to their potential. I don't feel like a performer. I like it to be a conversation among writers.

Q: Speaking of money, how much did you make stripping on a good night?

A: We got paid $40 or $50 for showing up. We'd work three or four hours, from 10 p.m. to 1 or 2 a.m., and I'd walk out with $100. I was fine with that. We didn't really do lap dances where we'd make a whole ton of money.

Q: Was there something about stripping that you found ultimately thrilling?

A: I'm not a thrill seeker. I don't like roller coasters. I recently got mad at my mom when she made me go on a flume ride. When people ask me what's the message of the book, it's not to go out stripping. It's to find the courage to pursue your dreams: to see the crazy and great things that can happen when you try something you're scared to do in this life.

Q: What's the next big gamble?

A: It's moving to Chicago. I loved my last job [teaching at Dartmouth]; I loved where I was living. But at NIU, they're very interested in new ideas. Plus I've seen how taking risks can pay off in a big way. So I owe it to myself to take this risk and see what it might bring.

Man acquitted in 1986 stripper killings in second trial

A man with a history of violent crime accused of killing two exotic dancers more than 20 years ago has been acquitted of their murders.

David Raymond Couture was convicted in 2003 of two counts of second-degree murder stemming from the slayings of his girlfriend Darlinda Ritchey, 27, and Karen Baker, 20. He was ordered to spend life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 16 years.

Couture, who has several previous assault convictions in Surrey, successfully appealed the conviction and won a new trial that began last month. During the second trial, court heard from a slew of witnesses, many of whom testified Couture told them he wanted to confess to a crime involving two ladies.

But B.C. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kelleher ruled Wednesday that the statements provided by all witnesses had been "lacking in any detail."

"I am unable to say I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is responsible for the deaths of Darlinda Ritchey and Karen Baker," said Kelleher. "Mr. Couture must be and is therefore acquitted."

Mental evaluation ordered in prostitute slayings

A man accused of killing two prostitutes within 30 minutes in downtown Ogden last week was ordered by a judge Monday to undergo a mental competency evaluation.

Jacob Daniel Ethridge is charged with two counts of first-degree felony murder, each punishable by up to life in prison.

Ethridge's own attorneys raised the competency issue during a Monday hearing before 2nd District Judge Roger Dutson.

A review is set for Sept. 8.

Killed in the early hours of July 13 by gunshots to the head were Rosaanna Marie Cruz, 25, and Teresa Rene Tingey, 42.

Zelley Johnson, a friend of Tingey's, told The Tribune that prior to the shootings he was walking home from a bar when Ethridge approached him and asked about finding a prostitute.

Police said Ethridge told them he was propositioned by woman who took him to a vacant third-floor apartment at 2579 Adams Ave., where he allegedly shot her. Tingey's body was found at that location.

Returning to Adams Avenue, Ethridge said, he was propositioned by another woman, who he killed after she took him behind 2461 Adams Ave., police said. Adams' body was found there.

Ethridge then drove to Roy, told his parents about the slayings and his father drove him to the Ogden police station, where he confessed, according to police.

Events began after Ethridge had an argument with his girlfriend, according to police, who said he told them he had been having homicidal thoughts for some time.

Man sentenced for helping mom use daughter as prostitute

A man accused of helping a woman use her daughter as a prostitute was sentenced Monday, July 21, to one year in prison.

Under the sentence handed down by Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge A.J. Wagner, Michael Melvin will also be on post-release control for five years after his year in prison is finished.

Melvin, 41, pleaded guilty to compelling prostitution of a minor on July 3. Wagner told him Monday that he will be labeled as a Tier 2 sex offender, meaning he will have to register with the sheriff's office every 180 days and not live near a school or day care center.

Melvin was charged along with Rachel White, also known as Rachel Lakes. She faces a felony count of compelling prostitution and a misdemeanor count of endangering children. Her trial had been scheduled for July 11, but will be rescheduled for a later date.

White, 39, had been charged with cocaine possession earlier this year, but was placed in treatment in lieu of conviction. Wagner recently revoked that probation and sentenced her to 12 months in prison.

According to the sheriff's office, vice officers working in Harrison Twp. got tips that a woman was using her minor daughter in prostitution at hotels. Undercover officers went to a hotel on North Dixie Drive at East Siebenthaler Avenue on April 21 and arrested Melvin and White.

White's daughter was placed in the custody of the Children Services Division of Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services.

Battle over stripper poles for aerobics class

BARTLETT, TN -- The owner of a Tennessee aerobics studio is in a battle with the city over poles. It seems the city of Bartlett is not going along with plans for poles to be installed in the studio so the so-called stripper-robics can be taught.

The city's mayor says the poles turn the studio into an adult business. The owner says she runs a professional studio and no men or stripping will be involved.

Rachel Vint, the owner of the studio says, "It's just women coming in getting a good time, getting a workout losing weight and feeling good about themselves. It's something for the everyday woman. Everyone can do this I've lost 40 pounds doing this. That was before the poles that was just regular strip to fit dance class." She plans to hire a lawyer.

Stripper, 80, still taking her clothes off

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AP) -- Tempest Storm is fuming. Her fingers tremble with frustration. They are aged, knotted by arthritis and speckled with purple spots under paper skin.

But the manicure of orange polish is flawless and new, and matches her signature tousled mane.

She brushes orange curls out of her face as she explains how she's been slighted.

She is the headliner, you know. She is a star. She is classy.

"I don't just get up there and rip my clothes off," she says.

Indeed, the 80-year-old burlesque queen takes her clothes off very slowly.

More than 50 years ago she was dubbed the "Girl with the Fabulous Front" and told by famous men she had the "Best Two Props in Hollywood."

Since then, Storm saw the art that made her famous on the brink of extinction. Her contemporaries -- Blaze Starr, Bettie Page, Lili St. Cyr -- have died or hung up the pasties.

But not Storm. She kept performing. Las Vegas, Reno, Palm Springs, Miami, Carnegie Hall.

Her act is a time capsule. She knows nothing of poles. She would never put her derriere in some man's face. Her prop of choice is a boa, perhaps the occasional divan.

It takes four numbers, she says adamantly, four numbers to get it all off. To do it classy.

But the producers of tonight's show, just kids, they want her to go faster. She gets just seven minutes.

"I did seven minutes when I started," she says.

They gave her trouble last year, too. They even cut her music before she finished.

There may not be a next time for this show, she says. The threat lasts just minutes.

"No, no. I'm not ready to hang up my G-string, yet. I've got too many fans that would be disappointed."

Dated Elvis, other celebrities

Stardom and fandom feature prominently in Tempest Storm's life -- and in her neat, two-bedroom Las Vegas apartment.

Visitors are greeted by photos of a young Elvis, her favorite rock 'n' roller and, she says, a former lover.

He met her after her show in Las Vegas and fiddled with her skirt as he introduced himself. The relationship ended about a year later because Elvis' manager didn't approve of him dating a stripper, she says.

But she could not change who she was. Stripping already had made her famous.

It put her in the room with Hollywood's heavyweights. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Mickey Rooney, Nat King Cole.

She dated some, just danced for others. The evidence is framed and displayed on tables and the living room wall.

That's Storm and Vic Damone. Storm teaching Walter Cronkite to dance. Storm and her fourth and last husband, Herb Jefferies, a star of black cowboy films who swept her off her feet in 1957 when such unions were instant scandals. They divorced in 1970.

"When I look at this picture I say, 'What the hell happened between this gorgeous couple?"' she says.

The moment is brief.

Storm is rarely wistful. She has no doubt she still is what she once was. Although she performs just handful of times a year, she would do more, if asked. She chides those who think age takes a toll on sex appeal.

"Ridiculous," she says.

There are just as many recent photos in the room: Storm and her daughter, a nurse in Indiana. Storm and her fiance, who died a few years ago. Storm and a beaming older gentlemen, just a fan who approached her for a photograph.

In others, the petite beauty with the long lashes and glamorous hair is alone, out of focus, in full makeup and smiling wide. In one, she is perched on her living room couch in a red hat and low-cut black suit.

"I took that picture of myself," she says proudly. "I have a self-timer. I took these, too."

Sharecropper's daughter fled abuse

"That stage saved me," she says as she leaves a sound check hours before the night's performance.

She had been expecting a much smaller space and she is relieved. She's a "walker," she explains. She needs room to move.

It is a direct and once-racy style, the signature work of Lillian Hunt, the choreographer at the Follies Theater in Los Angeles where Storm became a star.

She was Annie Blanche Banks then. The 22-year-old sharecropper's daughter had fled sexual abuse, two loveless marriages and poverty in small-town Georgia, she says.

She was working as a cocktail waitress but wanted to be a showgirl. First, she needed her teeth fixed.

"Do you think my bust is too big for this business?" she asked Hunt at her audition.

Hunt put her in the chorus line, told her not to gain a pound and called a dentist.

In Storm's telling, she didn't stay long in the background. She got a new name. ("I really don't feel like a Sunny Day.") She took to the spotlight quickly. Then and now, she blossomed to the chorus of hoots and cheers.

The trick is having a warm presence, an inviting smile, she says.

When she takes the stage, she lets her mind float back to "Georgie." She imagines herself as a little girl, in her best dress, running down the road to meet her daddy coming home from work.

"I feel that I am that little girl dressed up out there. I got a picture in my whole mind of it. I can see that little girl," she says.

On stage, the image is frozen there.

But it's not the end of the story Storm tells. If she plays out the memory, the little girl is stopped in her tracks as an aunt blurts out a truth that pains her today.

"That's not your real father."

Doesn't smoke or drink, gets religion on TV

On Sundays, Storm tunes in to a televangelist who tells her anyone can overcome odds. It's the only religion she's ever taken to.

She believes this is the lesson of her life. Be a survivor. Never stop doing what you love, it makes you who you are.

"If you want to get old, you'll get old," she says.

There have been men who disappointed her, financial strain, brain surgery.

After it all, she sits on her couch and exercises in front of the television on a small stationary bike. She doesn't smoke or drink or eat much.

"I'm just blessed, I think. And I know when to push myself away from the table."

If some might see all this as chasing after lost youth, she says she cares little. Younger dancers tell her she is an inspiration to them, and she has no reason not to believe them.

"I feel good about myself. And I enjoy it," she says. "I have fun when I'm onstage, and the audience loves it. Nobody ever said it's time to give it up. Why stop?"

Cheers and whistles

Indeed, no one is dreaming of telling Tempest Storm to give up stripping when she slithers onto the casino nightclub stage for her seven minutes.

"Something in the way she moves ..." pipes through the speakers. Her live drummer, the Ringo Starr on loan from the Beatles tribute show on the Strip, picks up the beat.

The burlesque queen emerges stage right. A slinky purple gown hangs off her shoulders. A rhinestone necklace envelops her decolletage. The snakelike boa pours into her hands.

For a few seconds, her face flashes her nerves.

And then she hears the cheers.

When she performs, Storm smiles, leans back and walks on her heels, leading with her pelvis. Her hands float back and forth as if in water, until they fall below her hips and sweep up in tandem with a full frontal thrust.

More cheers. Whistles.

The boa disappears stage right.

The next number picks up the tempo, letting Storm cock a hip on the down beats. She loses the gloves and steps off stage to put on the negligee. It's gone almost as quickly as it came.

And with two flicks of her orange fingernails, the dress goes, too.

Two-finger whistle. Hollers. Applause.

Staring up at the 80-year-old woman in fishnets, a sheer rhinestone bra and a G-string, a young woman turns to a young man and declares:

"I want to look like that when I'm her age."

Stripper arrested for subway pole dances in Santiago

SANTIAGO - A stripper who danced on the poles of Santiago subway trains to challenge the prudishness of Chilean society was arrested on Thursday during one of her lightning performances.

Monserrat Morilles, 26, surprised subway riders all week stripping to skimpy underwear, but she refused tips.

She said she was protesting a lack of tolerance in Chile, one of Latin America's most conservative societies.

"This is just a beginning. We are starting an idea here that will grow and be developed further," she said as police and subway guards surrounded her.

The professional pole dancer worked quickly all week to avoid arrest, getting on at one station, finding a subway car with no children on it and stripping in time to exit at the next station.

Chilean media dubbed her "La Diosa del Metro" or Subway Goddess. She called her performances "happy minutes."

"Chile is still a pretty timid country," said her manager Gustavo Pradenas. "People aren't very extroverted and we want to take aim at that and make Chile a happier country."

Boston stripper arrested on old warrant after claiming fling with A-Rod

A former stripper who claims she had a two-night stand with Alex Rodriguez is learning the hard way that if you dish dirt you might get dirty.

Candice Houlihan has been arrested on an old warrant that had been dormant until she surfaced last week to blab about sleeping with the Yankee slugger.

"I think it's pretty much because I'm kind of out there right now," Houlihan of Reading, Mass., told the Boston Herald.

The exotic dancer-turned-hairdresser said State Police tracked her down Thursday night at her mother's house in Wakefield, Mass., and hauled her off in handcuffs
"in front of my 70-year-old aunt."

A Massachusetts State Police spokesman confirmed yesterday that Houlihan was arrested on a four-year-old warrant on charges she had an unregistered and uninsured car.

Houlihan, 32, blamed the charges on her cat-sitter, who took her car for a joyride when was on vacation.

She appeared in Lynn, Mass., District Court Friday and paid a $400 fine to clear up the matter. She had been stripped of her driving privileges because of the warrant.

"I'm glad that it's over with and now I can move on, and I can still drive," Houlihan said.

Houlihan made front-page headlines in New York and in Boston last week when she revealed she had sex with A-Rod in his Boston hotel room twice in 2004. Their last romp, she said, occurred during the Bombers' American League Championship Series against the Red Sox.

"I felt bad afterward," she said. "I'm not a bad person. I know how it feels to be cheated on, it sucks. But a couple of drinks later, I didn't notice all that much, to tell you the truth."

She cheered on Rodriguez's wife, Cynthia, for finally getting fed up with his cheating and filing for divorce.

The arrest is just the latest bad break for Houlihan since she went first went public with her dalliances with the Yankees' $275 million third-baseman.

She told her story to the Globe supermarket tabloid in June 2007.

The publicity caused her to lose her job at a hair salon and it brought back old memories of an infamous Boston murder she witnessed as a teenager.

Houlihan was a 19-year-old waitress at the 99 Restaurant & Pub in Boston, when three patrons she was serving opened fire killing four mobsters sitting in a nearby booth.

"It was terrifying," Houlihan recalled last week. "I waited on the gunmen. I witnessed these guys get murdered. I've had some weird days in my life, but that was definitely the weirdest."