Brandi Britton

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Brandi M. Britton
Born 1963-08-08
Died 2007-01-30
Nationality USA
Occupation Sociology Professor
Known for rare instance of a Professor being arrested for prostitution

Brandy Britton (August 8, 1963 - August 8, 1963) was a professor of sociology and anthropology.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] She worked at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, resigning in 1999. In January 2006 she was arrested on charges of prostitution.

Britton claimed she was innocent, and was being framed by an angry ex-husband.[3] Darragh Johnson, a Washington Post writer who interviewed her, asserted that the charges she faced were misdemeanors, and "rarely go to trial."

Britton enrolled at Oregon State University when she was 19. She married, and had two children, a son and a daughter, in 1985 and 1987.[3] Johnson interviewed Sheila Cordray, one of Britton's professors, who said Britton was one of the most brilliant students of her entire academic career.

While at Oregon State, Britton volunteered at a battered women's shelter, and helped organize a late-night ride program, for women's safety.[3]

She earned her PhD at the University of California at San Francisco.[3] She took a job on the faculty, at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the mid-1990s. According to Johnson, at first she was widely admired. She brought a $1.5 million research grant from the National Institute of Health to the University. But her last years at the University were filled with acrimony.[8] There were lawsuits, and she ended up resigning.

Johnson described Britton's second marriage as troubled, lasting only six months, with Britton making many calls to the police, reporting domestic violence.[3][4] Johnson had serious financial troubles after she left the University, filing bankruptcy twice, and facing foreclosure five times.

Johnson described her website --, and the services it offered, and described her being evasive when asked to reconcile her website with her denial of being a prostitute.[3][9]

After she was identified as a prostitute Britton committed suicide.[2][10][11][12][13][14][15] Various commentators reflected on Deborah Jeane Palfrey's reaction to Britton's suicide, when she too was found dead, an apparent suicide. Palfrey had said that she wouldn't kill herself, as Britton had.

In his book about Palfrey's case, Why Just Her?, Palfrey's lawyer, Montgomery Blair Sibley, acknowledged that Britton had worked for Palfrey's firm.[16] But he wrote that Palfrey had only employed Britton for about six months, in the 1990s. Blair noted that Britton, like his client, had said her clients included, "police, lawyers and judges".

The Baltimore Sun reported that her house had been sold, in a foreclosure, in November 2006, and the new owners were in the process of evicting her, in order to get possession of their new property, at the time of her death.[17]

Some commentators have suggested that both women were murdered, and their deaths made to look like suicide.[18][19][20][21][22]


  1. Luke Broadwater (2007-03-05). "Who's in Brandy Britton's black book?". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 2016-04-07. "In the months before she took her own life, Brandy Britton, the former assistant professor charged with prostitution, underwent tremendous scrutiny from the media and Howard County police and prosecutors." 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Adam Zagorin (2008-05-01). "D.C. Madam: Suicide Before Prison". Time. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06.,8599,1736687,00.html?imw=Y. Retrieved 2008-05-01. "When a former employee of Palfrey's, Brandy Britton, hanged herself before going to trial, Palfrey told the press, "I guess I'm made of something that Brandy Britton wasn't made of."" 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Darragh Johnson (2006-05-21). "The House With The Lights On It was a neighborhood just like yours, where children rode scooters in the cul-de-sac. And where men circled at night, looking for . . .". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-04-07. "Britton says she's not guilty and denies the charges. She was framed, she says. It's a clever con job, perpetrated by her second husband." 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Darragh Johnson (2007-01-30). "Trial Nearing, Alleged Call Girl Found Dead". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-04-07. "She was a sharp researcher whose dissertation focused on abused and battered women who then found herself, a few years ago, filing domestic-violence charges against her second husband: "He . . . tied me up with strapping tape" and "stabbed me in the neck," she told police." 
  5. Ben Nuckols (2007-01-30). "Former professor hangs herself: 43 Brandy Britton was facing prostitution charges". Baltimore, Maryland: Eugene Register Guard. p. 3.,6272468&hl=en. 
  6. "The case of the brainy hooker". Ellicott City, Maryland: Kokomo Tribune. 2006-01-21. Retrieved 2016-04-07. "Britton, a former sociology and anthropology professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, was charged this week with four counts of prostitution, The (Baltimore) Sun reported. She was released on her own recognizance Tuesday, officials said." 
  7. "Former Asst. Professor Charged With Prostitution In Her Home: Britton Has Doctorate In Sociology". NBC4. 2006-01-19. Archived from the original on 2008-05-05. Retrieved 2016-04-07. "Brandy Britton, 41, earned her doctorate from the University of California at San Francisco and founded the Institute for Women and Girls Health Research in the Ellicott City home where she allegedly ran the prostitution service." 
  8. Rob Capriccioso (2006-01-20). "Madam Professor?". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 2016-04-08. "Britton’s time at the University of Maryland—Baltimore County was marked by controversy. Mark Lurie, a spokesman for the university, said that she worked as an assistant professor there from 1994-99, until she resigned, accusing the university of conspiring with her students and co-workers to force her to do so." 
  9. "Alexis Angel Entertainment". 2005. Archived from the original on 2005-09-24. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  10. "'DC Madam' linked to Washington elite found dead". Belfast Telegraph. 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2016-04-07. "One of her employees was a former University of Maryland sociology professor named Brandy Britton apparently committed suicide in January before she was scheduled to go to trial." 
  11. Vicky Ward (2008-05-01). "Remembering the D.C. Madam". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on 2008-05-05. Retrieved 2016-04-07. "This was, after all, the woman who had told me she was no “Brandy Britton,” the college professor who had killed herself after it emerged she’d been a prostitute." 
  12. Carol Joynt (2008-05-02). "Remembering the "DC Madam"". Washington, DC: New York Social Diary. Retrieved 2016-04-07. "Perhaps the most stunning part of the interview – especially now, given how the story played out – was when she talked about Brandy Britton, a Baltimore escort worker linked to Palfrey who hanged herself in her apartment a few months before." 
  13. 李卉 (2008-05-03). "宁死也不坐牢 华盛顿卖淫团伙头号老鸨上吊自杀 [Washington would rather die than go to jail number one prostitution ring pimps hanged himself]" (in Chinese). China Daily. Retrieved 2016-04-08. "帕尔弗雷并不是该卖淫团伙第一个自杀的人。 去年1月27日,该团伙“雇员”美国马里兰州大学女教授布兰迪·布里顿(Brandy Britton)在家中上吊自杀身亡。 据悉,布里顿在失业后当起了“应召女郎”,2006年因涉嫌卖淫被警方逮捕,最终羞愧难当的布里顿在距法庭审判日只有10天时选择了自杀。" 
  14. "La maîtresse che sapeva troppo: Trovata morta in Florida: sul taccuino segreto i nomi di 15 mila vip di Washington [The mistress who knew too much: Found dead in Florida: the secret notebook the names of 15,000 VIPs Washington]" (in Italian). La Stampa. 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2016-04-08. "La madre, Blanche Palfrey, solleva tuttavia numerosi dubbi: «Mia figlia non aveva istinti suicidi, non voleva uccidersi, non beveva né prendeva droghe». Il settimanale Time aggiunge un altro tassello ricordando quanto «D.C. Madam» disse dopo il suicidio dell’ex braccio destro Brandy Britton che in gennaio non volle affrontare il processo: «Sono fatta di qualcosa di molto differente da lei». D’altra parte in un’altra intervista alla Abc Palfrey affermò: «Non andrò mai in galera, neanche per un minuto, perché non mi vergognerei, se necessario, di rivelare i precedenti di alcuni miei clienti. Se servirà, li chiamerò tutti in causa»." 
  15. Yolanda Monge (2008-05-03). "Hallada ahorcada la dueña del burdel favorito de las élites de Washington: Deborah Palfrey acababa de ser condenada por dirigir una red de prostitución [Found hanged favorite brothel owner of the elite Washington: Deborah Palfrey had just been convicted of running a prostitution ring]" (in Spanish). El Pais. Retrieved 2016-04-08. "Su muerte trae a la memoria el trágico final de una de sus pupilas, la profesora universitaria Brandy Britton, quien decidió acabar con su vida en 2006 tras ser detenida por prostitución. Palfrey comentó entonces que Britton -una madre soltera de dos hijos que se prostituía porque su sueldo académico no le bastaba- se había sentido "demasiado humillada". "Supongo que yo estoy hecha de una pasta distinta que la de Brandy Britton", dijo la madame durante el juicio." 
  16. Montgomery Blair Sibley (2009). Why Just Her: The Judicial Lynching of the D.C. Madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey. Why Just Her. pp. 117–118. ISBN 9781439227954. Retrieved 2016-04-06. "However, there was another side to the Brandy Britton story. At the time of her arrest, she said her clients included "police, lawyers and judges."" 
  17. Melissa Harris, Tyrone Richardson (2007-01-30). "Former professor's tumultuous life ends with suicide: Prostitution charges only part of troubles". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  18. Armstrong Williams (2008-05-02). "Suicide or Murder?". The Hill. Retrieved 2016-04-07. "Remember Palfrey's former employee Brandy Britton, a former college professor who hanged herself in her Howard County home in January 2007, shortly before her scheduled trial on prostitution charges. Is this all coincidental, or do we have the makings of another Marilyn Monroe conspiracy developing?" 
  19. Patrick J. Lyons (2008-05-02). "Skepticism and Sadness After Death of ‘D.C. Madam’". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2008-05-05. Retrieved 2016-04-07. "Ms. Britton was found hanged as well, and that’s another sore point with skeptics, who say that when women commit suicide, it is rarely by hanging themselves, and for two women involved with the case to have done so beggars belief." 
  20. 2008-05-02. "A Children's Treasury Of Recent Suspicious Suicides". Wonkette. Archived from the original on 2008-05-05. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  21. VON HERBERT BAUERNEBEL (2016-02-06). "GEHEIME CALLGIRL-LISTE LÄSST KANDIDATEN ZITTERN: Neuer Sex-Skandal könnte US-Wahl sprengen [Secret callgirl list leave tremble candidates: New sex scandal could blow up US election]" (in German). Bild magazine. Retrieved 2016-04-08. "Der Skandal nahm einen tragischen Verlauf: Zuerst erhängte sich eine von Palfreys Mitarbeiterinnen, Brandy Britton. Am 1. Mai 2008 wurde Palfrey selbst in einem Schuppen vor dem Wohnwagen ihrer Mutter in Florida an einem Strick hängend gefunden." 
  22. Leah Gillis (2016-02-12). "WILL D.C. MADAM’S INFAMOUS "LITTLE BLACK BOOK" EMERGE?". Who, What, Why. Retrieved 2016-04-08. "And lest you think the Madam was the only one in her operation that ended up in a looks-like-suicide-but-people-don’t-buy-it scenario, her former call girl Brandy Britton met the same fate a year or so earlier, something Palfrey was well aware of, stating in an interview, “I don’t want to be like her. I don’t want to end up like her.”"