updated 12 May 2014, 14:46
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Fri, May 09, 2014
The Nation/Asia News Network
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Book on prostitution in Thailand picks wrong cover girl

It's every woman's dream (well, okay, some women) to be a cover girl, but it proved to be a nightmare for TV star Usanee "Nok" Wattana, whose portrait from a sexy magazine shoot has ended up on the front of the book "Thai Hookers 101".

Nok tells that the picture came from a shoot she did for the lifestyle mag Mix way back in 2008. And in no way, shape or form did she grant permission for the photos to be used anywhere else, let alone on the cover of "Thai Hookers 101 - What You Must Know about Sex and Prostitutes before Coming to Thailand".

This is evidently a "guide" to the Kingdom's red-light industry in 11 quasi-informative chapters that somehow manage to fill only 56 pages.

Among the stirring prose inside is the ostensibly heartfelt lament, "If a man wants meaningless sex with a woman, what gives others the right to stop him?"

Chapter headings include "The 4 Types of Thai Women, "Thai Bar Girls 101" and "Sex with Massage Girls".

Buy it if you must in print or as a Kindle version from Amazon or other sources.

If there's a silver lining for Nok in here somewhere, it's that the Kindle edition's cover has a picture of some other unfortunate lady.

Understandably furious, Nok yesterday filed a criminal complaint with the Royal Thai Police Technology Crime Suppression Division against the American author, identified only as "Seven", who apparently washed up on a Koh Samui beach after the US economy crashed in 2008.

Nok heard about the appalling misuse of her picture from a friend and she and her manager bought a copy of the print version online (Bt1,300, around S$50, regretfully spent) to find out exactly what was going on. Its content turned out to be far more insulting than Nok was prepared for.

Its cover blurb further tantalises shoppers with, "You don't have to be rich, handsome or the world's greatest pickup artist to have your choice of beautiful women. This is your complete guide for doing just that in a land where prostitution is accepted and practised by even the highest authorities."

"Thais know me and they know I'm not a prostitute," Nok tells the newspaper Khao Sod, "but foreigners who see me on Instagram might come across that photo somewhere else and wonder whether I'm a prostitute. I'm not particularly angry about the photo on the cover because this isn't the first time my photo has been abused for commercial purposes. What makes me furious is the text on the cover and the content, which greatly insult Thai women."

The actress vows to pursue the case and demand the harshest possible punishment for the author and publisher. Conviction for disseminating false information on the Internet carries both a fine and jail time.

"The senior executives at Channel 7 all agreed that I should press charges to redeem my professional image and salvage the reputation and dignity of Thai women," Nok says.

Unsurprisingly, there has been no response so far from the book's author.

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