Sometime in 1930s Edith Russell was considering the purchase of a new apartment in Paris. She found one that suited her taste for the original and shared her excitement about it with friends,
General Sir Sidney and Lady Lawford (parents of actor Peter Lawford who was her godson). The Lawfords were amused by her description of walls and ceilings covered in mirrors and red velvet. In all innocence she also told them of some strange accoutrement left in the suite of rooms by its former owners - whips, cat-o-nine tails, manacles and other items which seemed suspicious.
The Lawfords must have cautioned her about buying the place or raised some sort of objection because Edith then contacted her realtor who admitted, begrudgingly, that the house had once been a bordello.
Edith did not buy the apartment but apparently dined out on this story for it has appeared in several accounts, including by Lady Lawford in her autobiography.
Related Biographies:Edith Louise Rosenbaum
Sir Sidney and Lady Lawford