New York Publicist Says We'll Be Getting More Of Tanqueray's Tales
Twitter is demanding book deals and TV shows for Tanqueray, a former stripper who told Humans Of New York about her past with mobsters and presidents.
November 20, 2019 at 9:09 pm
Update (December 2, 2019): Ask and you shall receive.
The former stripper who became a viral sensation after her enthralling life story was shared by Humans of New York will continue relaying her wild life experiences, but this time through a different outlet.
Nicknamed Tanqueray, the older woman once worked as an exotic dancer in a club with mob ties. The three-part mid-November post from the popular storytelling platform left many in the cybersphere pleading for a book deal. But according to Page Six, we won't be seeing Tanqueray's tales in the written word, but we will be able to listen in.
Publicist J Dot., of the JDot Agency, said he spotted Tanqueray — aka Ms. Stephanie — in Chelsea while eating lunch and asked her about what’s next, considering the internet has become invested in her life. Despite being approached with book deals and movie opportunities, she told J Dot. she’s decided to continue telling her stories through a podcast, he told Page Six.
“She said she’s been approached by everyone you can imagine — from book deals to movies to documentaries. She’s going to shift her attention first to a podcast," the entertainment and fashion publicist shared. "She said it seems most ideal because she’s a storyteller. We talked for about an hour before she got on the bus.”
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I’m still in awe. A story too good that I just had to post this. And the story goes a little something like this. Just wrapped lunch with @fatal_ice and as soon as we leave Panera Bread, I look to my left and who do I see? “Is that her?” I say. Ace says “hold up, is that who I think it is?” And she says, “yup it’s me!” Ladies and gentlemen, we met Ms. Stephanie aka Tanqueray! Today was nothing short of EPIC. We spent a little over an hour talking with her about everything you can imagine. Just imagine all the stories you’ve read Brandon highlight on @humansofny times two. This lady is so EPIC and truly a living LEGEND. People instantly recognized her constantly throughout our conversation standing on 7th Avenue. She smiled and took pics with everyone as well. Oh, the stories she told us were amazing and soon we will all get to hear more! Yes — of course she’s being approached by every industry exec under the sun, but she wants to do things her way, the right way. Stay tuned because we’ll be getting a lot more from Tanqueray and her awesomeness.
J Dot. also said Ms. Stephanie uses the same “colorful language” that helped the original post get so much attention.
“Meeting her in person was surreal. She was just as colorful as you’ve read on the Humans of NY Instagram page. Profanity, engaging conversation and all. Super sweet and definitely gave all the Auntie vibes,” JDot. told BET.
Since garnering over 1.9 million likes on her three Instagram posts, she’s become an icon of sorts, with people recognizing her quite often.
“On her new-found celebrity status, she said it took some time getting used to in the beginning, but she’s fine with it now. Various pedestrians in the street recognized her instantly and came over for photos and praise," he continued. "Most calling her a ‘legend,' an ‘icon’ and thanking her for telling her truth and for being so inspirational.”
We’ll definitely be listening.
Original: Brandon Stanton and Humans of New York have spent years sharing powerful and heart-wrenching stories of New Yorkers to a worldwide audience. Now, the internet is obsessed with his latest subject: a woman who said she used to strip using the name Tanqueray.
In classic Humans of New York style, we never learn the dazzling woman's name, but we learn a ton about the fascinating life she lived.
“My mom threw me out of the house at seventeen for getting pregnant, then had me arrested when I tried to get my clothes. Then she f**ked the head of parole to try to keep me in jail," she told Stanton in the first of three posts dedicated to her harrowing stories of stripping, mob bosses and secret presidential trysts.
Tanqueray managed to get out of prison and secured a scholarship to the Fashion Institute of Technology. She hated attending the school but said she loved the fact that it led her to her real passion for designing clothes and costumes for strippers and porn stars in the old Times Square.
"All I did was gay bars: drag queen contests, Crisco Disco, I loved the whole scene. And I couldn’t get enough of the costumes. My friend Paris used to sit at the bar and sell stolen clothes from Bergdorf and Lord and Taylors, back before they had sensor tags," she said in the viral posts, which racked up millions of views and likes on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
"So I had the best wardrobe: mink coats, 5-inch heels, stockings with seams up the back. I looked like a drag queen, honey. One night a Hasidic rabbi tried to pick me up because he thought I was a tranny. I had to tell him: ‘Baby, this is real fish!'” the post read.
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“My mom threw me out of the house at seventeen for getting pregnant, then had me arrested when I tried to get my clothes. Then she fucked the head of parole to try to keep me in jail. She was some prime pussy back then. But the warden did some tests on me and found out I was smart, so I got a scholarship to go anywhere in New York. I chose the Fashion Institute of Technology, which I hated. But by that time I was already getting work making costumes for the strippers and porn stars in Times Square. All my friends were gay people, because they never judged me. All I did was gay bars: drag queen contests, Crisco Disco, I loved the whole scene. And I couldn’t get enough of the costumes. My friend Paris used to sit at the bar and sell stolen clothes from Bergdorf and Lord and Taylors, back before they had sensor tags. So I had the best wardrobe: mink coats, 5 inch heels, stockings with seams up the back. I looked like a drag queen, honey. One night a Hasidic rabbi tried to pick me up because he thought I was a tranny. I had to tell him: ‘Baby, this is real fish!”
In a second post about her life, Tanqueray described a more dangerous time when she was involved in strip clubs ran by mobsters.
"Back in the seventies, I was the only [B]lack girl making white girl money. I danced in so many mob clubs that I learned Italian. Black girls weren’t even allowed in some of these places. Nothing but guidos with their pinky rings and the one long fingernail they used for cocaine. I even did a full twenty minutes in the place they filmed Saturday Night Fever. But I made my real money on the road. Three grand on some trips. Every time Fort Dix had their payday, they’d bring me in as a feature and call me ‘Ms. Black Universe’ or some shit like that," she said.
She explained that her signature move as a stripper was one where she would take baby bottle tops and put them on her nipples before making them squirt real milk. She would then pull a cherry out of her g-string and feed it to any man in the first row of her show.
She described working as a stripper and the struggles she faced as a Black woman who refused to have sex with clients. Tanqueray said they often retaliated against other strippers who were having sex with the booking agents or clients and claimed one woman managed to find a way into the legendary Longest Yard film with actor Burt Reynolds.
tanqueray got everyone poring over the histories of every woman that appeared in “the longest yard.” https://t.co/YsGTlBBV8Q
— EricaJoy (@EricaJoy) November 20, 2019
As always, Black Twitter was on the case, quickly figuring out that the lady was most likely actress Anitra Ford.
My best bet is Anitra Ford in the longest yard ???? pic.twitter.com/dyaB4lAHsO
— Michelle Obama (@omgeze) November 20, 2019
So do y'all think Anitra Ford was the one tricking? https://t.co/uppAe2ID8E
— Rose (@KoocDaDon) November 19, 2019
The internet adored the woman's no-frills storytelling and begged for more. Stanton, realizing he had discovered a star, obliged, giving us a third post that had even more explosive stories from Tanqueray.
Brandon,we demand an entire series pic.twitter.com/Jol61lu2Ri
— Tokyo Toni’s wig (@sommielammy) November 20, 2019
In her third and final tale, which was accompanied by a lovely photo of her sitting at a restaurant, she explained that despite their reputation, she enjoyed hanging out with "mob guys" and never turned tricks except for one time. She took a job from a woman she called Madame Blanche, who allegedly controlled the high-end prostitution scene at the time.
"She was like the Internet– could get you anything you wanted. And all the powerful men came to her because she never talked. She set me up with a department store magnate who wanted a [B]lack girl dressed like a maid. I thought I could do it. But when I got to his hotel room, he wanted to spank me with a real belt. So that was it for me. I was done," she said.
She spoke about interacting with "Matty The Horse," which allowed Twitter detectives to quickly verify her story. They realized she was speaking about deceased Genovese crime boss Matthew Ianniello, who controlled significant parts of the Times Square prostitution scene during the 60s and 70s. The New York Times said he was "one of the biggest operators of Manhattan’s disco and gay bars during the 70s. Among them were several that were considered landmarks of gay nightlife, like the Gilded Grape and the Hay Market."
However, the next part of her story is what made her instantly go viral. She claims Madame Blanche set her friend up with an unnamed president.
"Madame Blanche set my best friend Vicki up with The President every time he came to New York. And don’t you dare write his name cause I can’t afford the lawyers. But he’d always spend an hour with her. He’d send a car to pick her up, bring her to his hotel room, put a Secret Service agent in front of the door, and get this: all he ever did was eat her p***y!”
This set the internet on fire, starting furious debates on which president it could have been. While some immediately thought of President Bill Clinton, Black Twitter sleuths narrowed it down based on the time frame and decided it had to have been someone between Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford or Jimmy Carter.
— Dr. Crystal A. deGregory (@HBCUstorian) November 20, 2019
Nixon was considered to be well-connected. Add in the fact so many white racists fetishize black women and…yeah. I'm definitely thinking Tricky for this one.
— VeeMo (@veekmo) November 20, 2019
Based on the era she's talking about I wanna say likely Nixon or Reagan (possibly Ford). Which makes this sooooo juicier.
— Keisha ????️???? (@Reanimateddoll) November 20, 2019
Because of what she says about not wanting lawyers to get involved, many assumed the story was about Carter, who is still alive at 95 years old.
It’s Carter, right?
— nah (@le_pantalon) November 20, 2019
It has to be Carter. She said she has no money for lawyers. Dead men don't sue. She gave it away without saying the name.
— Stephan Alleyne (@stephanas24) November 20, 2019
Aside from the debate over which president she spoke of, people flooded social media saying they adored Tanqueray and wanted more stories from her.
That bad ass Black woman who was featured on Humans of New York is proof that even in the toughest of times Black women have always found ways to do whatever the fuck we wanted to do. The road ain't easy, but our lives/stories are so rich and full. So stop the woe is me & do you.
— Classist&Egregious (@dianaveiga) November 19, 2019
— S. Rudy booker (@Rudybooker6) November 20, 2019
Tanqueray is that bitch. A legend. Iconic. Your faves could never. We have to stan. pic.twitter.com/6PcZgqkdAV
— Er!c (@ericthulhu) November 19, 2019
Dear God/universe, please let them hire me to write Lady Tanqueray's book. My love of good tea and wordsmithing has led me to such a time as this. I would do it justice.
— Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie) November 19, 2019
I would like to watch Ms. Tanqueray’s life story in a film or TV Show.
— t. (@tvnisia) November 19, 2019
Let's hope TV producers and book publishers heed the public's call for more Tanqueray Tales.