Tania Fiolleau: Once a Brothel Madam


Tania Fiolleau’s Story of Survival and Redemption

” … I slipped back into prostitution. I started pimping girls and I had some penthouses going. I was selling girls to rappers, movie stars, NFL and NHL athletes, Supreme Court judges–you name it, I was the one to go to.”

Part 1 of a 2-part interview

Activist against human trafficking. Public speaker. Counselor to street women. Former prostitute and madam. 

These are all terms that could describe Tania Fiolleau, who faced hardship and rejection from childhood, entered into the sex industry, but whose life was changed by God. Having left her former life, Tania now helps other women who are at risk of exploitation.

Tania first entered into the sex industry when she tried to escape the violence of her first husband and needed $7,000 to retain a lawyer who could help her win custody of her children. Short of resources, Tania responded to a job ad promising high pay in a “female owned and operated” business. That business turned out to be prostitution.

Four years into the custody battle, Tania’s chances of winning back her children were still uncertain. In desperation, Tania turned to God. Until that time she had felt great anger towards God–even despised God. But she made a deal with God: she would turn her life over to Him if He granted her custody of her children.

God gave her just what she asked for. But His grace would not end there.

Journey of Grace 

“I got custody in 2001 and I gave my life to God, but I wasn’t doing anything [for Him]. In 2005, I just about lost everything in the economy. The market tanked … I got really depressed. I started drinking wine, taking medication and slipping away from God. I came back to Canada…[and] started up a private investigation firm that basically dispatched investigators and I paid them a commission. I saved up $5,000 dollars to buy a condo and I flipped four properties until I got enough money to buy a tanning salon that was tanking. I bought it when the economy was the worst and I wanted to expand it into a hair salon and spa. When I did that, I needed a lot of money for the renovation.”

“[That’s when] I slipped back into prostitution. I started pimping girls and I had some penthouses going. I was selling girls to rappers, movie stars, NFL and NHL athletes, Supreme Court judges–you name it, I was the one to go to. It was like I was back on the scene. I started escorting [work] myself.”

“Getting back into prostitution was ten times harder. The Bible says the house gets swept clean [then] the demons go out and find seven other friends to come back. They did. Those demons came back times seven. I had never done any drugs in my life and in 2007, I started doing crystal meth …and crack cocaine to mask my emotional pain. I had bottomed out again, and this time it was not for my kids, it was to get back on my feet, to get my wealth back. I had slipped away from God without even knowing it.”


“My boys moved out. They didn’t want to live with me at that time. Their friends had found out that I was a madam in the past; they were getting teased and they were angry at me. So I had all that stuff going on in my head, [I thought,] ‘Wow, I did that all for nothing. I slept with all those johns for nothing. I exploited all these women for nothing. My kids left me anyway.'”

“Then I said, ‘Screw it!’ And that’s when I became a madam again; that’s when I began messing with drugs.”

“I hid it all really well. I did this for seven months and ultimately, I tried to end my life. And when it didn’t work I was very upset.”

“On the outside I appeared to have it all to the world, but inside, I was dying. One night, I just couldn’t live with myself anymore. I took a bunch of sleeping pills and date rape drugs and I tried to end my life. I pulled the gas fuses out of my apartment … I guess someone in the building had smelled gas. They came in and found me, and I was almost deadI was unconscious. I woke up in the hospital about a week later and I didn’t know what had happened.”

“I was still angry at God,” she said. “I told God: ‘Why in the hell did You not let me die? I just want to die–just take me. Take me! I don’t want to live.’”

When Tania came out of the hospital, she returned to running her tanning salon.

“A lot of the girls who had worked for me [in the brothels] would come to the tanning salon, and I would say, ‘How come … you are still doing this? Why are you hooked on drugs?’ And I kept hearing the same story. The girls said, ‘What else am I going to do? Am I going to put that I was a hooker for the last ten years on my résumé?’”

God’s Voice

Tania made her salon very successful and soon the business was voted number one in its category for the city of Richmond. But just when the salon reached its peak of success, Tania heard the Lord speak to her.

“The Lord (spoke) to me: ‘You close the doors to this place tonight and don’t open it again.’ I was like, ‘What? How am I going to pay my mortgage? How am I going to make a living?’”

That night, the Lord’s command to close the tanning salon continued to pursue Tania. Unable to sleep through the night, Tania called her staff the next day and announced the closure of her business. The Lord had greater work in mind for her.

“I knew the Lord didn’t let me die for a reason.”

After Tania closed her salon, she started writing her book, Souled Out!, telling the story of her life. Over time, she couldn’t make mortgage payments and her house went into foreclosure.


“Then I was going to different churches. You’d think that one Christian reached out to me. Not one. I was feeling dejected … Every time I went to a church, nobody wanted to reach out to me. Churches didn’t want to touch on the topic of prostitution. Women were feeling threatened with me around their husbands because I was a former prostitute. I didn’t belong.”

Without a home, Tania began living in her car. She went to coffee shops daily to use their wireless internet. She began researching human trafficking.

“The more I learned, the more I became appalled. The more I got angry at myself for exploiting these women.”

“During this time my oldest son had come back to me and he was living with me in the car. And there were times at night, with my fibromyalgia disease and my injuries from my ex-husband, it was cold and the rain was beating down on the car roof. Cops would tap on the car window and say, ‘You need to move.’ I was going to the food bank … I was just exercising whatever resources I could.”

“I was living in my car, homeless, doing this for several months. Still going to church and I would say to people … They would say, ‘How are you doing,’ and I would say, ‘You know what, I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to afford a place. Maybe you could pray that the Lord provides a place.'”

“You’d think one Christian opened a door? Not one. But they said, ‘I’m praying for ya sister.'”

“I started … becoming angry at Christians, thinking that they were all a bunch of fakes and it was just me and God. And there was my son … One night I just broke down–I was crying and sobbing. I said to my son, ‘I’m so sorry I squandered away your inheritance. Living in a car. I can’t believe I did that.’ And my son goes, ‘Mom,’ he goes, ‘Don’t be sorry. ‘Cos I’d rather go knowing that my mom is doing this, and she’s fighting for what she believes in, than to know that my mom is doing that.’ And the Lord comforted me from the mouth of babes.”

God’s timing

“I kept pressing on. I kept writing my book. Kept educating myself as much as I could. I didn’t realize it then but [God had a plan, yet] I was still breaking down, going, ‘God, why? I’m being obedient. I left prostitution. I’m living in my car. I’m in pain. I’m hungry. Why are you letting me suffer?'”

“I didn’t know it at that time, but He was orchestrating the release of my book, Souled Out!, right when the news broke in the Supreme Court of Ottawa about the prostitution laws.”

“The news got a hold of me and they were like, ‘Who is this madam?’”

“There were people on the news and prostitutes coming forward trying to legalize it; and then I came forward going, ‘No! Don’t legalize it. I was married into an international crime family. I was married into the mafia. I know what it’s like. I was a madam.”

 “Then I realized, Wow, God had told me earlier, ‘You have a voice.’”


In Part 2 of 2, Tania shares with SheLoves readers her current journey as an urban missionary and global advocate against human trafficking. 


About Tania: 

Tania is the founder and director of Save the Women Ministry International, and author of Souled Out!, an autobiography of her survival of childhood trauma, marriage into an international criminal family, and her former profession as a prostitute and brothel madam. Tania is soon to release her second book, Redeemed, which is a book about redemption and how she found it in Jesus Christ. Tania was changed by the redemptive power of Jesus Christ and she is now a Global advocate against human trafficking, a public speaker around the globe, a counsellor to at-risk women, and a major public voice in the media abroad. Tania is also currently a leader at her local church.
To know more about Tania’s work, visit www.savethewomen.ca or contact her at [email protected]