Laid bare, the raunchy life of Russia's expat population

British law firm orders senior employee to stop writing of sexual exploits
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The Independent Online

Casual sex, excess drinking and drug use are routine for many foreigners working in Moscow, but a female lawyer with a top British firm has landed herself in hot water for publishing what appear to be her diaries online.

Expat, an erotic novel, is written by Deidre Dare, an American in her forties who works as a senior lawyer for the top British law firm Allen & Overy in the Russian capital. The novel is posted on her website, along with shots of the lawyer in her lingerie and a series of raunchy poems.

"There is something thrilling about being in bed with a German, even if he does have a tendency to make uninteresting small talk. ('Do you think it will be cold tomorrow? If so, should I wear two pairs of socks?') 'Oh, yeah, Baby,' I thought, as Patrick gently kissed my eyelids and stroked my face," she writes. "I sighed as if in pleasure, when, really, my mind was occupied with the thought that it is disappointing how the Germans are really some of the most boring people on Earth."

It continues in much the same vein for 11 chapters, and then ends abruptly with a note: "The author has been forbidden from publishing further chapters of Expat for the time being. She will resume if and when she is permitted to."

When contacted by The Independent, Ms Dare said that she had been instructed by her lawyers to give no comment. A source close to her said that she was worried she may lose her job soon due to the scandal. However, she has received hundreds of emails from admirers of her website, including one European businessman who offered her €20,000 (£18,000) to take her to dinner.

Each chapter of Expat contains reflections on Moscow life, lots of "gentle hair stroking", and at least one sex scene. Her website also contains a poetry section, featuring verses which are often more ridiculous than erotic.

The novel comes with a disclaimer that all the events and characters are fictional. However, many people on the expat law scene said that they recognised incidents and characters in the text.

"What on earth does she think she's doing?" said a British lawyer working for a different Moscow firm. "It's absolutely insane to be posting this stuff online. Her bosses must be furious. I would be amazed if she doesn't get fired."

The company said it did not comment on individual members of staff. "With regards to our general policies on staff conduct Allen & Overy aims to uphold the highest standards of professional conduct. Everyone at Allen & Overy is expected to conduct themselves appropriately and professionally at all times."

According to an information pamphlet on Allen & Overy's website, "Deidre is an international finance and projects lawyer who has represented diverse clients involved in financings, equipment leasing and projects around the world."

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