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Terri-Jean Bedford is one of Canada’s most notorious citizens—but few know her under that name. As Madame deSade, however, she was Canada’s most famous dominatrix, a well-known public figure. These are her long-awaited memoirs.
Terri-Jean was born into abject poverty and put into a foster home at age six, where she suffered abuse. She was later moved into facilities for children and lived there until she was sixteen, when she left to make it on her own. She survived by working numerous unskilled jobs, until she entered the world of prostitution.Her talents and interests helped her move into the elite world of the professional dominatrix, and her life would never be the same. Located just outside of Toronto, her elaborate Bondage Bungalow became the target of a spectacular raid. Six highly publicized years of trials and appeals later, she was convicted under bawdy-house laws and paid a small fine. In 1999, she opened a similar facility in downtown Toronto, one that closed without police interference in 2002. She remains a vocal advocate for civil rights and the disenfranchised. She has been a plaintiff in a major constitutional challenge, and, as a result, Canada’s prostitution laws were struck down in 2010.
Because of Terri-Jean’s failing health, Madame deSade hung up her whips and is now happily retired. Today, Terri-Jean leads a quieter life, enjoying the company of her daughter and grandson. Hers is a story of survival, trial, and triumph.
- iUniverse, June 2011
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