In addition to the list above, the term "courtesan" has often been used in a political context in an attempt to damage the reputation of a powerful woman, or disparage her importance. Because of this, there is still much historical debate over whether certain women in history can be referred to as courtesans. For example, the title was applied to the Byzantine empress Theodora , who had started life as an erotic actress but later became the wife of the Emperor Justinian and, after her death, an Orthodox saint . The term has also been applied to influential women including Anne Boleyn , Mad Umrao Jaan (Amiran) from the novel [[Umrao Jann Ada]] : She was kidnapped and sold into a Tawaif Kotha. aline Bishop , Diane de Poitiers , Mathilde Kschessinska , Pamela Harriman , Eva Perón and Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel . The attempt to define such women as courtesans is often intended to draw attention to certain perceived qualities, ambitions or conduct which are held to be courtesan-like.