Having created a stir by announcing last week her intention to contest the next general election, sex worker Natalie Natlee Harewood now says she is giving up prostitution for politics.
Harewood, whose February 2017 single Dirty Harry – a song about a client whom she said had wanted a relationship when she was only interested in conducting a business transaction with him – prompted much criticism, officially announced the planned career shift on social media.
“Hi my Instagram and Facebook friends, I am here to announce that I will be quitting my profession as a prostitute to pursue my political ambition in becoming the next parliamentary representative for the City of Bridgetown,” the 36-year-old said in her latest post.
Her campaign manager Charlie Spice Lewis, who is also the president of the Adult Industry Entertainment, told Barbados TODAY Harewood’s decision to call time on trading in sex was a strategic political move.
“Just as you heard in the video she posted on Instagram Natalie has decided to give up her profession as a prostitute in Barbados to pursue politics. It is certainly a strategic move because one cannot run a campaign effectively while working a demanding job as the one she has.
“She had to do it to give undivided attention to her political aspirations. It doesn’t all go well in that profession when you are pursuing political office in terms of public opinion. It has been something she wanted for years to be in a position to make that decision,” Lewis explained.
Meantime, some residents of The City are welcoming Harewood with open arms, particularly those in Nelson Street where she grew up.
Among them is 60-year-old Kenny Browne, who told Barbados TODAY that as a home girl Harewood understood the culture of the constituency better than the other candidate.
“I feel personally that Natalie is coming from a point of view that she knows exactly how poor people feel, so she is just the voice of poor people. Her intentions are great, although persons may look at her in a funny way,” Browne said.
Asked if he thought Harewood could emerge winner among a field that includes the incumbent, the Barbados Labour Party’s Jeffrey Bostic, leader of the United Progressive Party Lynette Eastmond and Henderson Griffith of the Democratic Labour Party, Browne made reference to the stunning upset caused by Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election in the United States.
“Trump win elections in the States, so anything is possible. We haven’t seen her as yet but when she comes she will receive a warm welcome. I could consider giving her my vote and I would help her canvas. We don’t see the rest of politicians so if she does [run] we will support her.”
Fifty-two-year-old Lester David said he had never voted in his lifetime, but was prepared to end the drought in order to support Harewood.
He described the retiring sex worker as “a lady” who understood how the poor felt, and was optimistic she could win.
“She come from among this community as a ghetto girl, she come up hard and she see the life that poor people live. I hope the people give her a chance to see if she can make something better for poor people. I never vote [before], but I would vote for Natalie,” David said.
However, not everyone was overjoyed at Harewood’s decision to enter the race, with several people in Chapman Lane and Wellington anonymously expressing their objection with views that were similar to those of one Nelson Street resident who said: “Barbadians really feel that we down here in The City stupid for real though. Listen to me, if she was to get in right, she can’t do nothing for us man. Wunna think we that ignorant? Come on. She is not a bad person but look at it realistically, man. She cannot win no seat.”