A Birmingham man who attempted to reenact events he saw in the film ‘Pretty
Woman’ is recovering in hospital after his ‘date’ went disastrously wrong.
John Bennett, a chartered accountant, watched ‘Pretty Woman’ on a cable movie
channel and was intrigued by the premise, wherein a wealthy businessman
(Richard Gere) asks a prostitute (Julia Roberts) to spend a week with him in
return for $3000: “I thoroughly enjoyed the film and thought it might be fun to
try it for real,” he told reporters from his hospital bed yesterday.
After driving through Birmingham’s red light district for almost an hour in search
of a Julia Roberts lookalike, Mr. Bennett finally approached prostitute Tanya
Grady who, according to Bennett, ‘looks like Cher’ and asked if she would be
willing to spend a week with him in return for £1000. Miss Grady accepted the
offer and accompanied Bennet to his house on the city’s outskirts.
“That’s where things started to go wrong,” said Mr. Bennett.
The first stage in the liaison was a trip to an expensive local restaurant, which
proved disastrous. “I ordered Tanya a lobster thermidore and, as I expected, she
got a little confused about what cutlery to use and even asked the waiter for
ketchup to go with the food,” said Bennett. “But instead of finding these little
faux pas endearing or amusing, I just felt embarrassed and angry. All the other
diners were staring at us. I mean, who the hell asks for ketchup when they have
Next it was time to hit the shops. Mirroring Julia Roberts’ Rodeo Drive
shopping spree, Bennett took Grady to the city’s Paradise Circus shopping
centre, where she spent approximately £800 on clothes and shoes in the space of
4 hours. But unlike the Richard Gere character in ‘Pretty Woman,’ Bennett did
not feel any secret pride or self-satisfaction in helping Grady: “By the time she
tried on the fifth dress I was literally bored to tears,” said Bennet.
After a visit to a local wine bar, where Grady recognised and chatted to several
former clients, the couple moved on to the Alexandra Theatre where they
watched a performance of Paul McKenna’s Hypnotic Show. But far from
reaching a moment of epiphany where both Bennet and Grady discover a mutual
understanding and affection, the evening was apparently marred by Grady’s
decision to bring her two year-old son Damon who, according to witnesses,
shouted and cried throughout the entire performance and urinated on a number
of other patrons.
“That was the last straw,” explained Bennet. He called the deal off and demanded
the £1000 back, at which point Grady called her personal manager and legal
adviser Vince ‘Cutter’ O’Connell. An argument ensued and witnesses say a fight
broke out which ended with Mr. Bennet lying on the pavement outside the
theatre with two broken ribs, a fractured nose and severe bruising over much of
his upper body.
Police were called but Grady and O’Connell had already fled the scene by the
time they arrived and their whereabouts are currently unknown.
Despite his experience, Mr. Bennett remains undeterred, “I love movies and
basically wish my life could be more like them. I will definitely be trying this
again,” he told reporters. He now intends to repeat the process with another
of his favourite films, ‘Passenger 57.’