Queen of Burlesque Dita Von Teese has witnessed levels of Hollywood sleaze that would pack the pages of a pulp fiction novel.

The 47-year-old dancer, entrepreneur and designer has had to rebuff advances from Los Angeles power brokers and fight off attempted sexual assaults.

Dita also got invites to parties by Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie producer who is now facing multiple charges of sexually abusing women.

But Dita told the Record: “I wasn’t trying to be an actress. It was just like, yeah, I’ll come to the Harvey Weinstein party or go to screenings.

Dita said that she had been invited to a number of Harvey Weinstein’s parties

“I’d heard the stories. That’s the thing – we’d all heard the stories.

“It was common knowledge. The casting couch has been around for a long time. This is an example of the casting couch being exposed as bad but before #metoo, I don’t think people even saw the casting couch as bad.

“They just thought this is what people do to get what they need.”

Dita explained her own experiences. She added: “I’ve walked away from opportunities because I wasn’t willing to play the game, because I wasn’t willing to romance with someone.

“I remember a few years ago, there was an opportunity and the guy who was holding the power was like, ‘Let’s go to dinner and do this and that and I’ll pick you up’ and I was like, ‘That’s not going to happen.’

“I guess I don’t suffer fools anymore. It’s one of the great things that comes with age. You go, ‘I don’t need this. I have to figure out how to delegate my time and it’s certainly not going to be sitting having dinner and drinks with that a****le.”

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Dita – who was born Heather Sweet in Michigan – has brought burlesque into the mainstream.

But admits not everyone realised her act was pure showbiz.

The Queen of Burlesque claims to have walked away from a number of opportunities to avoid sleazy executives

She said: “I remember being on a trip to Las Vegas with my boyfriend when I was 18 and I went to use the bathroom at the gas station.

“Somebody pushed me in there and tried to lock the door behind him. He didn’t succeed but that’s an example of things that happen all the time.

“It’s good these conversations are happening and we’re finally telling our stories.

“These things that happen all the time to women and used to happen to me all the time when I was a teenager. When I worked in a store, a guy came in and tried to wrestle me down behind the counter.

“I pushed him off me and chased him down the street.

“I could give you a list of situations that could have been bad for me.

“That’s one of the interesting conversations that is happening with #metoo for young women especially.

“We’re being put in predicaments where you are suddenly finding out that a person is after you like that. We’re constantly being told to watch our steps, watch our backs.”

Dita will climb into a giant martini glass once more as she brings her Glamonatrix tour to Edinburgh’s Playhouse theatre on April 28.

Dita will be bringing her Glamonatrix tour to Edinburgh’s Playhouse in April

She hopes Scots will be dazzled by a pole-dancing craze that has swept America. She said: “I found it interesting that we had the Super Bowl and Jennifer Lopez was pole-dancing and people are up in arms.

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“Every housewife in America is taking a pole-dancing class and that’s great. We’re getting rid of the old stigmas. Women in Scotland might be next. Put that pole in the front room.

“I love the idea that we’re going to get to the point that little kids are going to be pole-dancing, because there’s nothing wrong with it. It doesn’t have to be stigmatised and a stripper thing. It’s just fun.

“It’s just hanging out around a pole and dancing around it.”

Dita sacrificed having kids for her career, and was married to shock rocker Marilyn Manson.

“With him, it was more like it was never really on the table,” she said. “He wanted someone to support him and I was working too much doing my thing. After seven years of being on a rock tour and being on the arm of the rock star, I felt I wanted to do my own work.

“I took a different path. I didn’t have children. I chose showbiz.

“I have a lot of thoughts about it now but I kind of feel I made the right decision. It’s not so bad. I love my independence, travelling the world with this show. It’s been my life’s work.”

The showbiz star hopes that Scots will be blown away by her Edinburgh show

Dita has found love with graphic designer Adam Rajcevich but divorcing Manson put her off marriage. She said: “That was the most difficult time of my life – it was very emotional.

“Everything knows those feelings of going through a break-up.

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“It was difficult in the public eye where you feel everyone knows about it and is talking about it. That was something I didn’t have experience with.”

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Dita added: “I’ve been with Adam for about six years now and Marilyn and I are friends now. We were divorced over 10 years ago so it’s all water under the bridge.

“But I feel like I had my big dramatic wedding and frankly I didn’t really enjoy it.

“It felt like showbiz. The dress, the ceremony, the whole thing just felt like putting on a show.

“It was a fun party but I could throw a party anytime and divorce is such a nightmare.
So I’m not sure I need to get married again.”





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