Rounding Out Her Sentence
Cut-rate butt-lifter wants more jail time
Published: July 31, 2012
There’s a market for bigger butts, and for a good long while, Kimberly Smedley met the demand. Now that she’s been busted for illegally injecting industrial-grade liquid silicone into paying patrons’ buttocks, even though she told them it was medical-grade silicone, Smedley has an odd demand of her own: a month more jail time than the three years she received.
Smedley’s case has attracted international media attention, granting headline writers a field day. Even before her arrest last fall, she’d gained notoriety for her butt-boosting trade, thanks to a pair of New York Post reporters who, in 2008, posed as patrons in order to get the resulting investigative piece (entitled “Rear and Present Danger”) in which Smedley is quoted saying what she does is “illegal.”
The 46-year-old Atlanta woman would inject silicone into paying patrons’ buttocks in hotel rooms in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, Detroit, and elsewhere. According to court documents, she started doing the procedures in 2003, and continued even after the public attention from the Post. It wasn’t until March 2011, when she injected a stripper from the Block, Baltimore’s adult-entertainment district, for the fourth time since Oct. 2010, that Smedley’s racket started to unravel.
The stripper, identified in court documents only as “Jane Doe,” became sick shortly after the March 2011 injections, and went to the hospital. Doctors treating her for pneumonia discovered silicone in her lungs.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration special agent Robert E. Ekey soon got the case, and by Sept. 2011, he had enough to bring federal charges. Doe had heard of Smedley’s services by “word of mouth” among other strippers, and had received the procedures in hotel rooms at the Renaissance Hotel in Baltimore. Smedley told Doe that she “has been performing this procedure for a long time and that a number of girls who work with the victim had received the procedure,” according to court documents.
Smedley and the man who served as her security guard, a former Washington, D.C., police officer named Martin Freeman, pleaded guilty earlier this year and received their sentences on July 20: Freeman is headed for three months in prison, a $10,000 fine, and $8,106.02 in restitution; Smedley got a three-year sentence, a $25,000 fine, and the same restitution amount as Freeman.
But on July 23, three days after her sentencing, Smedley’s attorney asked U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake to tack on an additional month to her sentence. The reason, according to court records, is that Smedley wants the “maximum treatment offered by the Bureau of Prisons” for substance-abuse treatment, but that such treatment is only available to inmates sentenced 37 months or more in prison.
Smedley’s guilty plea says she did the procedures from 2003 until Oct. 2011, when she was arrested. According to court documents, during that period she ordered 4,920 pounds of silicone from a single manufacturer and a “conservative” estimate of her earnings from the procedures is $1,315,869.54, though “the actual number is likely appreciably higher.” She charged from $500 to $1,600 per injection. Freeman, who was charged March 1, assisted Smedley starting in 2009 and was paid $5,000 for his services, according to court documents.
Meanwhile, another woman, 42-year-old Padge Victoria Windslowe, was charged in Philadelphia on July 24, in connection with performing the same type of butt-enhancing silicone-injection procedures, but the charge was third-degree murder, since one of her victims died as a result of the silicone entering her lungs.
There are safe, legal alternatives to silicone injections, of course, but they cost more money. One local plastic surgeon, Ricardo L. Rodriguez, offers something he calls the “B’more Butt Lift,” a lower-cost alternative to his more expensive “Brazilian Butt Lift.” According to Rodriguez’ web site, the Brazilian Butt Lift, which involves removing fat from other body areas and re-injecting it in the buttocks, leaving the patient unable to sit for three weeks, “is still the procedure of choice to get the maximum augmentation of your buttocks and create a sensual sculpted body profile.” The B’more Butt Lift, meanwhile, involves “body sculpting to make your waist smaller and your buttocks appear more prominent,” and has a one-to-two-week recovery time, during which patients may sit on their buttocks.
The B’more Butt Lift’s price tag? $6,000 to $8,000. Sounds like a lot, but not that much more than the four sessions Jane Doe had with Smedley, at $1,000 a pop.
> Email Van Smith