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Ruth Parasol- Porno Mystery Woman

Ruth Parasol one of the principals of PartyGaming PLC, which went public today on the London Stock Exchange has an interesting porn background.

Porn Valley- Ruth Parasol, mother, lawyer, former internet porn princess and PartyGaming’s founder, is zealously protecting her privacy. She steadfastly refuses to give interviews. The picture of her taken more than 20 years ago for her high school yearbook is thought to be the only one ever published.

Even her PR advisers concede that she is a “slightly mysterious” woman. That, they say, is how she likes it. “They are not seeking publicity and prefer to continue to lead private lives,” a spokesman says.

It is inevitable, however, that the float has generated interest in Ms Parasol’s unusual family history and her colourful career in the cybersex industry. There is also a growing awareness that, while her activities are legal in the UK, as far as the US justice department is concerned what she is doing is completely illegal.

Ms Parasol, 38, appears to have begun lowering her profile some time before the float was announced this month, since when she has not been seen at her home in Marin county, north of San Francisco.

She had resigned her membership of the state’s Bar Association a few days earlier, as had her husband, a lawyer and software entrepreneur called James Russell DeLeon.

PartyGaming is registered in Gibraltar, with headquarters in a 14-storey office block overlooking the harbour that is also home to the territory’s trade and industry ministry and its financial services commission. Some of PartyGaming’s computer servers are also there – beyond the reach of law enforcement officials in the US.

In preparing for the float, the couple are thought to have joined Gibraltar’s burgeoning band of so-called Hinwis, the “high net-worth individuals” who have acquired residence status. Although becoming a Hinwi brings enormous tax advantages, there is no need for the couple to actually reside in Gibraltar, and few on the Rock have seen them.

Regardless of where they live, what is certain is that between them, Ms Parasol and Mr DeLeon, 39, own 40% of the company. And that means that in a few days’ time they will be worth, on paper, almost a couple of billion pounds.

But it is Ms Parasol who has enthralled the City and triggered the most animated media interest – and who appears to have gone to the greatest lengths to protect her privacy.

The man who taught her much of what she knows about the porn industry, e-commerce, and the importance of playing her cards close to her chest, was her father.

Richard Parasol, 73, is understood to be a Holocaust survivor and former Israeli army officer who settled in San Francisco around 50 years ago. He is thought to have worked in the construction industry and dabbled in property, but by the early 1970s he was the proprietor of a string of massage parlours in the Tenderloin, the city’s edgy red-light district.

Robert Mojica, the one-time owner of a rival massage parlor, recalls: “He had a whole bunch of them. I think he had a topless bar too.” He admiringly describes Mr Parasol as “a real hustler”.

Business was good, and by the following decade Mr Parasol had moved his Swedish wife Gunna, his daughter Ruth, and her two younger sisters out of San Francisco and into Marin county.

The beautiful and affluent hill country north of the Golden Gate Bridge has long been the capital of America’s liberal counterculture, a place whose inhabitants were recently written off by George Bush as “misguided Marin county hot-tubbers”. Yet even here, Richard Parasol could raise a few eyebrows.

Some people in the town of San Rafael recall him cruising around in a red Cadillac convertible while stripped to the waist. “Very interesting family,” says one old neighbour. “A little smarter than everyone else,” ventures another.

Mr Parasol still lives in one of the wealthier corners of Marin, in a large white house with a small stars-and-stripes flag fluttering from the locked gates. The Guardian has been unable to contact him for comment.

Ruth, said by neighbors to be “a more serious person” than her father, was educated at a private high school before studying at San Francisco University and reading law at Western State University, south of Los Angeles.

Although qualified as a lawyer, it is unclear whether she ever practiced, because shortly after leaving law school she went into business with her father, who by then was running sex chatlines. By 1994 she had two of her own chatlines, called WKP and SPR. Some say Richard Parasol gave them to his daughter to help her make her own way in the world of adult entertainment.

Father and daughter also invested in an internet pornography company called the Internet Entertainment Group (IEG), which offered live video clips of striptease shows to subscription-only websites with such names as Virtual Girl and SeXXXvision.

At one point, IEG renovated a warehouse in Seattle where 14 young women, working in shifts, performed before video cameras in any one of four stage sets resembling a bedroom, a health club, a shower and a dungeon. As well as paying to watch them disrobe, punters could call the warehouse on premium rate phone lines and put their special requests to the women.

The dungeon, apparently, was particularly popular among the online subscribers – and highly profitable – in the small hours of the morning.

Ms Parasol’s spokesman says she and her father had withdrawn from IEG by mid-1996, and that she has severed her connections with the internet pornography industry.



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