Former Upper East Side Brothel Owner Gives Exclusive Interview, Discusses New Book

​Anna Gristina first made headlines a decade ago when her escort empire came crashing down on East 78th Street. Criminal charges for prostitution followed — along with threats of deportation.

The Scotland native was quickly dubbed the “Soccer Mom Madam” by the media and reportedly spent four months on Rikers Island because she refused to become a confidential informant. “They wanted me to set people up and tape record them, they wanted dirt on these people. They wanted leverage for political gain.”


Gristina recently told NBC New York that her women-for-hire venture, which she ran for nearly 20 years, was the “cleanest the business has ever been ran.” Fees ranged from “$1,000 per hour with a two-hour minimum, to as high as $25,000 for a weekend.”

The hub of the salacious action was allegedly based in apartment 2F at 304 East 78th Street. The cramped, then rent-stabilized one bedroom house of ill repute offered a wrought-iron day bed, paisley fabrics, a plastic Buddha and a second headless Buddha, as well as a variety of the finest bodega comforts Gristina’s prestigious and millionaire clientele could hope for: Fruity Pebbles cereal, Progresso soup, instant coffee, Lipton Tea, and Coors Light.

READ MORE: Anonymous Author Reveals Secrets of Wildly Rich Upper East Siders

Gristina faced seven years imprisonment, seven years away from her four young children, her husband, and her home in Upstate New York. She eventually pled guilty to the sole charge of prostitution and was sentenced to time served with probation.

The former brothel owner once told the Today Show that her criminal enterprise was no different than any other matchmaking service, her inspiration deriving from Bravo’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker.” Ten years later, she remains insistent that she did not think her actions were illegal and that the alleged Upper East Side cathouse was nothing more than a “crash pad” for late business meetings.

Gristina still lives in the same Monroe, New York home with her husband. Their youngest child is now 18. Her life is different now, a reinvention.

READ MORE: Upper East Side Doorman Reveals Craziest Encounters

Her little black book was traded in to author children’s books, under a pen name of course. She rescues pigs and even consulted on Lifetime’s The Soccer Mom Madam movie in 2021. Her novel — Secret Desires of the One Percent — will be available in October and promises to share the true-life “bizarre” predilections of her former clients. But for those hoping Gristina will finally spill the (Lipton) tea on who exactly those clients were, it isn’t happening.

She has found peace, according to NBC New York. But that does not mean that she isn’t seeking to flip the script in her next work. The former madam is coming to collect from politicians she claimed used her as a pawn in her yet-to-be-titled autobiography.

“I’m coming for you boys and you better look out. And I will put you in the biography, name for name,” she told NBC.

Gristina also seeks to clear her name. NBC reports she wants her conviction overturned and a new trial.

Looks like that tea could get a little extra spice and maybe even a Lifetime movie sequel.

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