Do Hookers and Google Execs Get the Same Fair Drug Trial?
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Do Hookers and Google Execs Get the Same Fair Drug Trial?


A reporter for The Daily Beast, Michael Daly, covered the case of Alix Tichelman—the 26-year-old prostitute who administered a lethal dose of heroin to Forrest Hayes, the 51-year-old Google executive who died aboard his yacht in Santa Cruz, CA in the fall of 2013. Now Daly has posted an opinion piece on CBS News, where he ponders the charges of manslaughter made against Tichelman and questions what the outcome would have been if the tables had been turned.

Life Isn’t Fair

I watch a lot of Law and Order so I am no stranger to the judicial system. At the very least, I am familiar with the inevitable question of whether a case would be handled the same way if the victim had been a man, a woman, Caucasian, wealthy or not a daughter of a prominent judge; it is no secret that the details of a case can impact its outcome and it’s no mystery as to why it does. So while I understand Daly’s motivation for posing the question, I am annoyed by it. The question—if Hayes would get the same treatment if her were in Tichelman’s position—is a ridiculous one. Of course he wouldn’t, nor should he.

Everything Has a Price

Before you start waving your angry flags of liberalism, I want to say that not a slut shamer. As a retired slut, I feel strongly that women should have the right to conduct themselves in any sexual manner they choose. But, as with any life choice, women who dress seductively, talk aggressively or turn their sexuality into a business need to be realistic and understand that, though they have a perfect right to do it, there is a price. Just like being a heroin user has a price. In fact, nearly everything has a price—even getting married and working as a tax accountant has certain consequences; they just probably aren’t that 12 people in a jury box may likely judge your character.

Being an executive at one of the most powerful companies in the world doesn’t have the same price as being a “sugar baby” with a heroin habit. While Tichelman was probably never expected to figure out how to corner the market on Internet search engines, Forrest Hayes probably never had to worry about giving himself a last minute enema because one of his sugar daddies requested anal sex.

We All Have Rights

The truth is, anyone who is selling their companionship, their drug connections or their body on a website has questionable—or perhaps atypical—morals. Their general comprehension of right and wrong may be warped from the mainstream due to an abusive or chaotic childhood, emotional trauma, mental illness, a personality disorder or desperation due to drug addiction. While Alix Tichelman has a perfect right to be on a legal dating website that invites wealthy men and financially needy women to have an open dialogue about trade, a jury of her “peers” also has the right to form opinions about her modus operandi as a result. It’s not unfair, it’s educated.

Think of It This Way

So perhaps what Daly is suggesting is that we try to see through the, er, haze of Hayes’ outside life as a wealthy executive, husband and father of five, to the other side of him—that is, a guy who enjoyed the company of IV drug-using prostitutes half his age. It’s not about legal or illegal, it’s about the fire that Hayes was playing with versus the one Tichelman was. Hayes had a lot more to lose, which is why this story is tragic and would probably have earned him more leniency in the courtroom if the shoe had been on the other foot. On the same note, Hayes was also the one exhibiting more blatant dishonesty by betraying his wife and disregarding the consequences his behavior might have on his children, his professional life and on his own health. When you look at it that way, which one is more ruthless—the executive with the double life or the sedated hooker who steps over a body to get her wine?

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About Author

Danielle Stewart is a Los Angeles-based writer and recovering comedian. She has written for Showtime, E!, and MTV, as well as print publications such as Us Weekly and Life & Style Magazine. She returned to school and is currently working her way towards a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves coffee, Law & Order SVU, and her emotional support dog, Benson.