TORONTO -- Call this a happy Christmas for the Happy Hooker.
And some long-earned redemption, too.
The famous former call girl and madam -- who these days goes by her birth name, Vera de Vries -- may not live in Canada anymore, but at 70, she was admittedly surprised to live long enough to see this country's normally rigid Supreme Court throw out several prostitution laws.
"My Happy Hooker days are many moons behind me and I am not really up to date with new rules and regulations," she said from Holland.
She certainly understood the old ones.
Known in the '60s and '70s as Xaviera Hollander, aka the Happy Hooker, she was thrown out of both the United States and Canada for her pioneering sexual enterprises.
Those efforts included the Happy Hooker book, which later led to a movie, and also 35 years of writing a monthly Call Me Madam column for Penthouse magazine.
Needless to say, when word broke last week the court had backed up the concerns of three Canadian sex-trade workers, essentially decriminalizing prostitution, being a madam or running a brothel, she was ecstatic.
"After all, in principle, prostitution is -- under normal circumstances -- a victimless crime," she said. "If two consenting adults agree to exchange money in return for sex, that should be their business."
"Business" being the key word for de Vries. She never thought of anything she did as a crime.
But she knows crime does exist in prostitution.
"What ruins it all are the horrid pimps who often lure underage girls into prostitution, also often using physical cruelty and promises they never live up to."
The previous rules were not stopping that.
She and others are hopeful that when the federal government rewrites the criminal statutes, they focus more on that than on either the sex-trade workers or the customers seeking the service.