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Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Nottingham stripper vicar wife regrets nothing
Diane and David Stevenson
Diane Stevenson was supported by her vicar husband David

A vicar's wife, who was reported around the world as being a stripper, says she can see the funny side of her ordeal.

Diane Stevenson, 44, wrote a church article in which she said she was a stripper.

She planned a second piece in which she would reveal she was a chicken stripper at a Nottingham factory.

But the story was reported out of context and Diane found herself on the front page of several national newspapers.

Mrs Stevenson, whose husband David is the new vicar at St Mary's Church in Eastwood, had written the tale for the parish magazine in an ambiguous way.

Out of context

She wanted to point out to her husband's new congregation the dangers of judging people.

"People look at you and make assumptions," said Mrs Stevenson. "They shouldn't be judging. It says in the Bible, don't judge."

In her first article Diane Stephenson made readers take note when she revealed she was a stripper.

She wrote: "My first evening was awful. I came home and cried as I didn't want to go back but being desperate for money, I did.

"I thought that if I did it for a month and did not like it I could give it up. After a few weeks I loved it."

It really upset me. I was crying. But I can see the funny side now and I've made my point.
Diane Stevenson, vicar's wife

What she did not initially reveal was that she was a chicken stripper. In 1988 she worked at Pork Farms in Nottingham. This was to be revealed in her second parish feature.

In it she wrote: "From that information (in the first article) you have drawn half conclusions about me, and that is what this message is all about.

"You have assumed from the word stripping that I was bearing all to everyone. For all you know I could have been working as a wallpaper stripper or even in the local tobacco factory as a tobacco stripper.

"You have judged me without knowing the full facts about me and the work that I did."

Before it was published, however, she was making the news for all the wrong reasons. National newspapers boasted headlines such as 'Vicar's wife was a racy stripper'.

Around the world

"I couldn't believe it (when I saw it on the front page). It said I was in a club and I wasn't. It really upset me. I was crying.

"I was interviewed (by a journalist) but I was never asked if I (stripped) in a club. She just produced the church magazine and I said 'yes I wrote it'. We tried to tell her there was another article coming out.

"I can see the funny side now and I've made my point."

Although vindicated, Diane Stevenson said it should not have mattered even if she was a stripper.

"It shouldn't have made any difference. Jesus spent time with prostitutes, adulterous women and tax-collectors. I just want to get the message out that we shouldn't judge other people."


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