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Back in Paris, Séverine meets up with Renée and learns that a mutual friend, Henriette, now works at a brothel.
At her home, Séverine receives roses from Husson and is unsettled by the gesture.
In November 2009, fearing her real identity was about to come out, Magnanti revealed her real name and occupation as a child health scientist. Relocating to the United Kingdom, Magnanti studied for a master's degree in genetic epidemiology and Ph. in forensic science from the University of Sheffield in England.
She entered university at the age of 16, going on to receive a B. Magnanti's pseudonym was derived from the 1928 novel Belle de jour by Joseph Kessel and the 1967 film of the same name starring Catherine Deneuve, directed by Luis Buñuel.
While visiting a ski resort, they meet two friends, Henri Husson (Michel Piccoli) and Renée (Macha Méril).
Séverine does not like Husson's manner and the way he looks at her.
Although frustrated by his wife's frigidity toward him, he respects her wishes.He also confesses his desire for her, but Séverine rejects his advances.Haunted by childhood memories, including one involving a man who appears to touch her inappropriately, Séverine goes to the high-class brothel, which is run by Madame Anaïs (Geneviève Page). Reluctant at first, she responds to the "firm hand" of Madame Anaïs, who names her "Belle de Jour," and has sex with the stranger.The title of the film is a pun on the French term, "belle de nuit" ("lady of the night", i.e., a prostitute), but Séverine works during the day under the pseudonym "Belle de Jour".Her nickname can also be interpreted as a reference to the French name of the daylily (Hemerocallis), meaning "beauty of [the] day", a flower that blooms only during the day.