A conversation with Jillian Lauren

Jillian Lauren is a writer, storyteller, mum, rock-wife, and Los Angeleno, by way of New Jersey. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoirs "Everything You Ever Wanted", "Some Girls: My Life in a Harem" and the novel "Pretty". She writes a lot of essays and articles, some of which have been in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine, Elle, The Daily Beast and Salon, among others. Jillian also speaks and tells live stories, often with my favorite, The Moth. There’s a chance you may seen have her on The View, CNN, 60 Minutes, Joy Behar or maybe you heard her on the radio with Howard Stern or Barbara Walters. Not too long ago she did a Ted talk about identity and adoption at Chapman University. Jillian and her musician husband (Scott Shriner from the band Weezer) live with their two sons on the top of a hill in East LA where she claims to battle hipsters on daily basis to reach the Intelligentsia coffee counter.

In this DMC, we discuss the year and a half she spent, at the age of 18, as a "guest" in Prince Jefri Bolkiah’s Bruneian pleasure palace where each night she and 30-40 other girls would attend parties with the prince and his immediate entourage all competing and vying for his coveted attention. I learn how she became intimate with the prince and also about her brief sexual encounter with his brother, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, at the time the Richest man in the world and who has recently implemented Sharia Law in his country where adulterers are now stoned to death. We then proceed to discuss life after the harem and the journey she and her husband embarked on to create their family via the adoption of their first son, Tariku, from Ethiopia. Jillian is a fascinating individual who has led a rich life full of adventure and excitement but like many of us, some regret. However, she’s managed to take any level of remorse or sorrow and turn into a positive by telling her story. As always, I hope there’s something in this podcast that resonates with you on any level. You may wonder how anyone who has not led as rare a life as Jillian’s can relate at all but I think you will be surprised.