CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - An Isle of Palms author has broken the stripper code of silence with her new book, Stiletto Diaries. For 23 years London Knight danced her way through strip clubs from coast to coast.
Now retired, Knight has written the book to let all young women know what she claims is the bare naked truth behind the industry.
"I want everybody to know what they see when you walk into a club that's smoke and mirrors. That's not the truth behind it all," said Knight.
In the book, Knight portrays the strip club world as dangerous with drugs flowing just as freely as the dancers' moves on stage. "It gets to be a very addictive lifestyle and pretty soon you're not making money for anything more than your drug habit," she said.
As part of this story, several local strip clubs were contacted, but none responded to Knight's claims. However, a dancer who has worked in the Charleston strip club scene for six years, Dana*, shared her experience.
"I have other skills, but when it comes down to it my body makes better money than all of those combined, and for a couple hours a week versus 40, to 60, to 80 hours…why not," said Dana.
According to Dana, it is easy to get caught up in the drug scene in the strip club world. "You name it, probably I've tried it. I've never stuck a needle in my arm, but I have put plenty of things up my nose and ingested things."
Dana said all that changed about a year ago when she kicked drug addiction and began working for Strictly Strippers, a business that is a club on wheels.
"Our shows are so incorporated with the parties that there's no possible way to do that show drunk or to do that show on drugs. If you can walk in and do our show and do it on either one…it's a miracle to me," said Dan Schnellinger, who has owned Strictly Strippers for the past 12 years.
Schnellinger said he makes sure a driver accompanies the dancers to every private party and stays in the room while they perform.
"It's a different atmosphere. It's a different lifestyle. I get up in the morning. I eat my breakfast. I go to school. I go to my other jobs…working in a club that wouldn't be so easy being up until five, six o'clock in the morning," said Dana.
According to Knight, it is too late for the roughly 60 women she claims to have buried because of drug abuse.
"Put it this way, I probably will be black-balled from every club out there after this comes out, but for me it's not about that, it's about that one girl," an emotional Knight said.
According to a representative from AuthorHouse, the publisher of Knight's book, Stiletto Diaries is a work of fiction based on the author's experiences.
* - Name changed for anonymity.