Franklin alderman and mayoral candidate Gabrielle Hanson admitted to being arrested on a charge of promoting prostitution in Dallas in the mid-1990s in a video posted to Instagram Tuesday night.

Hanson said the arrest stemmed from a job she had answering phones for a “modeling and entertainment casting company” in Dallas while she was attending Southern Methodist University.

“I answered the phone and took a name and took a number and a date, and at the end of my work session I would call the owners and give them that information,” Hanson said.

Hanson said she did not know the company was running an escort service until the police showed up at her door a little over a year after she started the job.

Gabrielle Hanson, Franklin alderman at large, speaks to the Franklin Board of Aldermen in January 2023.

“I was shocked. I was devastated. Everything I’d worked for for 13 years was about to come true. It should have been the happiest, most exciting time of my life, and it ended up being the absolute lowest,” she said. “That was definitely not who I was, but I was definitely in the middle of all of it.”

Hanson said she did not have money for an attorney and chose to plead no contest to one count of promotion of prostitution because others told her it would be the “easiest thing to do.” A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt but acceptance of punishment as if one had pleaded guilty.

Hanson said her punishment was to “not live in Dallas for two years,” and she moved to Chicago where she said she “rekindled her love for Christ.”

She posted the video hours after NewsChannel 5 reportedly texted Hanson with details of a criminal history apparently linked to her.

The revelation of her arrest is the latest controversy in Hanson’s term as a public official in Franklin. She has promoted an unfounded conspiracy theory regarding the motive of the Covenant School shooter and gone before the city’s Ethics Commission over an email to the Nashville Airport Board asking the airport authority to withdraw funding from a Franklin Juneteenth celebration.

NewsChannel 5 has also reported on a bizarre string of incidents in which Hanson posted to social media a photo of women she claimed were her supporters, then they said they didn’t know her, and then Hanson claimed they were lying in order to protect her.

The Franklin mayoral election is on Oct. 24, when Hanson is challenging incumbent Franklin Mayor Ken Moore.

Evan Mealins is the justice reporter for The Tennessean. Contact him at or follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @EvanMealins.