James Deen Says He Is 'Completely Baffled' By Rape Allegations In New Interview
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, porn star James Deen, who has now been accused of sexual assault by nine women, says he is "completely baffled" by the allegations against him. The interview, which Deen only agreed to do if it was published in full, includes his responses to the individual allegations against him, as well as an inside look at the complex nature of life on a porn set.
It all started on November 28 with a tweet from fellow porn star Stoya, who alleged that Deen, whom she once dated, had "held [her] down and f*cked [her] while [she] said no, stop, used [her] safeword." Deen, however, denies this, saying that they were always "very careful with consent," especially in scenes involving rough sex. He goes on to say that he "can't speak to her motivations" for accusing him, but mentions that he and Stoya did not have a "clean breakup." He tells The Daily Beast that she might have been spurred to make these accusations because she found out that Deen and his current girlfriend are moving in together, or else to "drive traffic to her website."
Whatever the case may be — and while Deen is innocent until proven guilty — allegations of sexual assault should not be taken lightly. Within the porn industry, and especially in films that involve rough sex or fantasy rape scenes, boundaries can still be crossed, and it's vital that everyone involved is respectful and ensures they have full consent at all times. Just because the people involved work in the sex industry does not mean that they can't be raped or sexually assaulted, both on set and off.
Here are nine important highlights from the interview, detailing Deen's responses to the allegations against him as well as offering insight into the complicated world of the adult film industry.
1. On Tori Lux's Accusation:
"My job as a performer for rough sex companies is to engage in certain acts. If at any point I pushed boundaries past the point of comfort, I am sorry. I have always tried to respect peoples’ limits and safe words and operated within that space. If someone expressed anything to me I honored the request with the fullest care."
Two days after Stoya's initial tweet, adult film star Tori Lux also came forward in a written statement, alleging that Deen had once asked her to "sniff [his] testicles" and, upon her refusal, continued to pin her down and hit her on the face and head five or six times with an open palm.
She says of the alleged on-set incident: "I was completely stunned, having no idea how to react. I felt pressured to maintain a professional demeanor as this was a major porn set, with other people present and failing to intervene." Deen, on the other hand, says, "I can safely say this did not happen."
2. On Ashley Fires' Accusation:
"In no way at all do I feel entitled to anyone’s body on set."
Ashley Fires says she refuses to work with Deen because she alleges that he once almost raped her in the communal showers at Kink.com, a "non-stop sexual environment" that's treated as "one big porn set." Fires claims that, as she was grabbing a towel to dry off, Deen "[came] up from behind me and pushe[d] himself and his erection into my butt.” Deen, however, told The Daily Beast that he does not feel entitled to any woman's body, and that he always stops "when someone objects or states discomfort."
3. On T.M.'s Accusation:
"I don’t want to go into specifics but I can assure you that this description is not a true reflection of the events in question."
A woman going only by the initials T.M. claims that Deen sexually assaulted her in Las Vegas in 2009. She alleges to the LAist: "[James Deen] grabbed me in front of the entire party and took me into a side room. I definitely said no, but I was also super scared. There was a crowd of his friends and fans [in the room]. He forced me to [perform oral sex on him] and had sex with me."
Deen, who says the party in question was an invitation-only BDSM swinger's party, explains the event only by saying that his accuser's portrayal of things is not a "true reflection" of what happened.
4. On Kora Peters' Accusation:
"This did not happen the way it was retold. There have been tweets pulled up from her very own twitter feed that dispute her claims... If she regrets shooting the scene with me I am sorry to hear this. However, in no way did this event transpire anything like what is described in the media."
Kora Peters told The Daily Beast that, although anal was on her list of "no's", Deen allegedly anally assaulted her on-camera: "James [Deen] kept trying to get inside my ass but I kept pushing him away, so he choked me, then he slammed my face down into the couch and forced himself in my ass anyway."
Deen denies that this claim happened the way Peters describes it, saying she "has made previous public comments to inner adult industry people that contradict what she is saying now."
5. On Joanna Angel's Accusation:
"There are certain exaggerations and inaccuracies in these stories... However, I will absolutely admit to being an emotionally insensitive boyfriend. I will admit to being immature. I will admit to being an overall jerk. I have publicly apologized many times and I will continue to do so."
Joanna Angel, who formerly dated Deen, alleges that their six-year relationship was abusive and that she "felt trapped." One incident in particular allegedly involves Deen dunking her head in a sink filled with water, and she claims that at one point it "started to feel like forever" and that she thought, "I'm gonna die here."
Deen claims that there are "inaccuracies" in her stories, but that he admits he was an "overall jerk" and will "continue to apologize to her for being a shitty boyfriend."
6. On Nicki Blue's Accusation:
"There is photographic evidence that was posted on her own Tumblr page showing other employees of Kink.com performing these acts on her. Specifically, a director/pro dom and the former head of their marketing department."
Nicki Blue told the Daily Mail that, while she performed oral sex on him, Deen allegedly started to get "really rough" and that he "pissed in [her] mouth."
All Deen had to say regarding this alleged incident is this: "I know I sound like a broken record saying over and over again that things are inaccurate or untrue, but when there is photo or video evidence contradicting this stuff it is hard to not be a little defensive."
7. On Rape Jokes:
"I think that finding humor in horror is a coping mechanism I use to accept that terrible things happen in the world. It doesn’t mean I condone negative behavior."
Deen, who has posted several jokes on Twitter making light of rape, says he does not regret posting these, even given recent events and allegations against him, because "making a rape joke does not make one a rapist." He goes on to defend his actions, saying, "I operate outside of the overly-PC public world we live in."
8. On Safe Words On-Set:
"I would recommend the word “stop.” On Kink.com sets there are three safe words. For stop you say “red” or if you can’t speak you shake your head no and say “uh uh uh.” When this happens everything stops."
While Deen says there are many "inaccuracies" in the allegations against him or that they were "taken out of context," he claims that, until these women came forward, he had "no knowledge that any limits or boundaries were considered violated." He says porn sets do have safe words, and that, especially where rough sex is involved, "there needs to be predetermined communication tools."
9. On Consent In Porn:
"Again, we are people like any other people in the world—our sex is still sex. The consent is still the same. There is just a different level of understanding... You don’t get to do whatever you want but at the same time you need to accept a certain level of sexual interaction with almost everyone you encounter on set, until you express that you do not desire it."
Even on a porn set, consent is still vital. Deen explains that on a porn set, it is to be expected that you'll receive a certain level of sexual interaction from everyone you meet. However, he points out that this doesn't mean people are entitled to each other's bodies; it's just that the comfort level on-set is different than in everyday life. Nonetheless, violation of boundaries can still happen, and it's up to everyone in the industry — actors, directors, producers — to ensure that everyone is comfortable and not pressured into engaging in an act they'll later regret.
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