Justice

The Porn Studio That Shunned James Deen Is in Big Trouble

December 7th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

Kink.com, a BDSM porn studio that dropped James Deen in the wake of sexual assault allegations against him, is currently facing four lawsuits alleging unsafe working conditions, according to an extensive BuzzFeed News report. As of Monday, eight women have claimed Deen assaulted them.

RELATED: ADULT FILM STAR STOYA ACCUSES EX-BOYFRIEND JAMES DEEN OF RAPE

Accusations against Deen that took place at Kink Studios

After porn actress Stoya initially accused Deen of sexual assault on Twitter and adult performer Ashley Fires revealed in a Daily Beast interview that Deen tried to assault her at Kink Studios one night, the company told SF Weekly in a statement that it had decided to part ways with Deen. This came around the same time that performer Lily LaBeau alleged that Deen assaulted her on a Kink set as well.

Kink.com

"For the Kink.com community, as well as the larger BDSM community, consent and respect are sacrosanct," the company wrote in a statement. "Our performers deserve not only safe sets, but the ability to work without fear of assault. Rape or sexual assault, with or without a safe-word, off-set or on, should never be accepted as a hazard of adult production."

ALSO: Nicki Blue Comes Forward Against Adult Star James Deen

Shortly after Kink.com made this announcement, porn actress Nicki Blue told the Daily Mail that Deen sexually assaulted her after the two worked on a Kink Studios film together.

http://nickiblue.tumblr.com/post/134608484838


She claimed that she wrote about the experience on a forum set up by Kink.com but that her post was deleted and she couldn't post on the forum afterward. This discouraged her from reporting the assault, and she told the Daily Mail that Kink was partially to blame for the way everything transpired the night of her assault.

"There's a lot they could have done so that it didn't happen, so that people don't end up getting raped," Blue said.

Lawsuits against Kink Studios

BuzzFeed News reports that the lawyer Sandra Ribera is representing three of the four lawsuits against Kink Studios. Ribera's plaintiffs allege that they contracted HIV on Kink sets due to negligence. The fourth lawsuit was filed earlier this year by a former worker of Cybernet Entertainment, which operates Kink.com. This plaintiff, a onetime editor/production assistant whose lawyer asked BuzzFeed News to withhold her name, alleges that there were unsafe working conditions when she worked on a public bondage segment and that her managers retaliated against her after she called them out on the poor conditions. This lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff was “groped, fondled, and harassed” several times during the shoot and that she asked Kink to "provide transportation, security, and other protections to prevent her from being assaulted," according to BuzzFeedNews.

ALSO: THESE PORN COMPANIES ARE DROPPING JAMES DEEN

“Throughout this experience, [the plaintiff] was concerned for her personal safety and was concerned for the safety of the models, one of whom was naked and in bondage,” the suit reads.

According to BuzzFeed News, Kink.com has challenged the legal basis behind Ribera's three lawsuits and "filed an answer to the complaint from the ex-employee denying all the allegations."

The fourth lawsuit in particular, however, illustrates how difficult it can be for all women in this line of work to come forward after "boundaries have been crossed" on set, BuzzFeed's Nitasha Tiku and Ellen Cushing wrote. This is consistent with recent remarks made by past and present adult entertainers, Tori Lux and Nicki Blue, both of whom have accused Deen of assault. Blue told the Daily Mail that it's common for authorities not to take the concerns of sex workers seriously.

"When you're an adult actress, especially in BDSM, and you go to a cop and say 'Oh I've been raped by this guy after doing a scene,' they are not going to take you seriously like if you were a normal person," Blue said.

Lux shared this similar sentiment in the Daily Beast piece. Lux accused Deen of assault and noted that many bad experiences will go unreported because women often fear that they will face a slew of negative professional and personal consequences if they speak up:

"[P]eople—including the police—tend to believe that sex workers have placed themselves in harm’s way, and therefore can’t be assaulted. Of course, this claim couldn’t be further from the truth, as being involved in sex work does not equate to being harmed. Despite porn being a legal form of sex work, and it occurring in a controlled environment such as a porn set, this blame-the-victim mentality is still inherent in much of society. In turn, sex workers are silenced and our negative experiences are swept under the rug as we try to protect ourselves from the judgment of others—or worse, a variety of problems ranging from further physical attacks to professional issues such as slander and/or blacklisting."

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Deen has denied allegations against him.