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AU Madison Ashton again accused of running a brothel out of residential apartment block

Property Here - Monday, June 03, 2013

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AUSTRALIA'S most controversial madam could be at it again.

Fresh from an eviction at the plush Paramount Apartments in Woolloomooloo, Madison Ashton - the former mistress to billionaire Richard Pratt - is again facing accusations of running a brothel out of a residential apartment block.

While Ms Ashton, also known as Christine McQueen, has been running licensed brothel McQueen's Showroom on 93 Crown St, Darlinghurst, residents from the apartment block opposite allege she is using units in their building to offer "in-house" escort services.

"There are always scantily clad women in the lifts and building areas," said one resident, who did not wish to be named. "(And) undesirable characters ... loiter in the building and carpark."

The resident detailed run-ins with clients of the brothel including one in which his girlfriend was "disgusted and upset" after being approached by a man who mistook her for a prostitute and asked, "How much do you charge? 'Cos I have a booking with a girl in unit (deleted) but you look f ... ing hot."

Under home occupation sex services guidelines, the residents of a house or building can offer sex services but no more than two people can be employed by the business and they must both be residents of the building. Any more than two and the premises is deemed to be a brothel, prohibited in City of Sydney residential apartment buildings.

When contacted for comment, the manager of CMQ Escorts - a woman who asked only to be referred to as Jackie - said the agency was "a little bit over this 17th-century witch hunt".

"Madison Ashton owns an apartment there," Jackie said.

"She is a well-known escort and there are no secrets around that. There are desks and an office (in apartment) and no sex."

Documents and text messages sighted by The Daily Telegraph show CMQ Escorts confirming a two-hour booking for sex services with the option given for seven separate women from a "beautiful private in-call apartment" located at the block at 118 Crown St.

A woman who answered the number shown in the text conversation confirmed she acted as "admin", taking bookings.

Ms Ashton refused to directly respond to requests for comment, taking to Twitter instead to state: "Stay away from my home, don't publish any part of my location."

A City of Sydney spokesman confirmed compliance officers were investigating a complaint relating to the residence.

"Sex service premises are only permissible in some areas," the spokesman said. "In general terms, sex industry premises and adult entertainment premises must not be located within residential buildings, or immediately adjacent or directly opposite land developed for residential purposes. The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 requires consent for certain activities and uses, including sex services. Penalties include fines of up to $3000 and court action."

Consultant to the NSW sex industry Chris Seage said he had advised Ms Ashton prior to her eviction from her Woolloomooloo apartments for similar activities: "She is well aware of the law."

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