This response from Exxxotica owner was posted on XBIZ.net this afternoon in response to numerous allegations and complaints.
Hey everyone. I’m J. Handy, director of EXXXOTICA, hopefully here to clear up some very disgusting and disturbing claims made above and on Twitter all weekend long. I’m sorry it took so long (48 hours) to jump on here to speak about this but I’ve never been on XBIZ’s boards and they take 2 days to clear your registration. I also didn’t want to start blasting on Twitter, as 140 characters at a time wouldn’t do anything more than stoke the fire. I’ve read pretty much all the comments above, and have been following on Twitter since this blew up on Saturday, and needless to say, I’m horrified of it all, so hopefully being able to get all of this down on one post will help clarify some issues, put to bed some false claims, and make everyone realize that security, safety and respect have always been a core issue of the event.
I’m going to start with probably the first major issue, one that I believe was the beginning of a lot of these issues. Ron Jeremy.
ISSUE 1: RON JEREMY
Ron has been appearing at our events since it’s inception in 2006. In the first couple years, we did pay for his travel (airfare and hotel) and a small appearance fee. By 2008, we were made aware of some claims that Ron had inappropriately touched an attendee, and all of that changed. We stopped paying for anything with Ron. We had a number of long talks with him personally as well as his handlers. We also had a ton of discussion internally about what to do with Ron. Ultimately, we decided not to ban him from the event, as he had never actually been charge or convicted of any crime.
We’ve seen in the last week claims that we pay Ron to attend the events, we pay him to do a seminar, we pay for his airfare and/or hotel… All of these claims are 100% false. Ron attends these events on his own, with his own money, and signs for paying vendors who exhibit at the events. We do not pay Ron and we do not coordinate his schedule in any way.
We decided long ago to go with the only way to properly handle the situation was to use an “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” strategy. If we had banned Ron because of claims made by others that were never confirmed, we would be opening ourselves up to having to decide on whether to ban others who have similar claims about them. Unfortunately in the adult business, this is a slippery slope. We are not the judge and jury. We are an impartial forum for conversation and discussion about love and sex.
ISSUE 2: REDDIT “HOVER HANDS”
Yes, I’m Jimmy Thunder on Reddit. Yes, when asked for advice on what to say to someone with “Hover Hands” I replied, “Put your fucking hands on them. Don’t be a pussy.” And lastly, and most importantly, this was in 2012.
Let me put this isn’t perspective. In 2012, Myfreecams had a 10×30 booth with about 8-10 girls signing (as compared to currently having a 50×60’ booth and over 200 girls). Webcams were not a thing at our events the way they are now, and when I made that comment, I was telling guys not to be uncomfortable and instead of posing with your hovering hand over their shoulder, to put it ON their shoulder. In no way was I condoning physically assaulting the girls or to touch them inappropriately. I was simply stating that they shouldn’t be afraid to pose with them for photos.
I will fully admit that when looking back on this comment 5 years later, it’s wrong in the current state of affairs, and I will update the comment to say so. The absolutely last thing we are ok with is having ANYONE (adult stars, cam stars, employees, staff, guests) being touched when they do not want to be.
ISSUE 3: REDDIT “STARS HOOKING UP WITH FANS”
When answering this, again 5 years ago, I answered it truthfully. Yes. We have seen a handful of stars hook up with “civilians”. Not to mention, again 5 years ago, before webcams blew up to their current state, the adult industry thrived on fans thinking they may have a shot with one of the performers. I didn’t ‘create’ this answer to market the event. It wasn’t in an attempt to slut-shame anyone. It was a truthful, honest answer that has been misconstrued.
I’m also not alone in saying this. Below you’ll find a link to a reddit post by Ginger Banks (the original cam performer to tweet these issues) in which she shoots a video from EXXXOTICA Chicago’s host hotel during a fire alarm when she “decided to grab the guy I was talking to and head to the bathroom for some fun”.
ISSUE 4: REDDIT “WOULD I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MY 7 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER BECOMING AN ADULT PERFORMER”
Again, I’m going to stick with my original answer. Yes. I would. When I look at my 7 year old, it is impossible for me to WANT her to becoming an adult performer.
When I grew up, my dad was a firefighter. The LAST thing he wanted me to do was become one myself. Was that because he doesn’t like firefighters? Of course not. Does he not respect fire fighters? Of course he does. But ultimately he wanted me to do something bigger and better than he did… Isn’t that the thought of any parent?
ISSUE 4: CAM PERFORMER VERA SKY IN CHICAGO
We were made aware of a threat to Vera Sky the week before EXXXOTICA Chicago. We forwarded all available info to our hired security company to be on high alert for him. Unfortunately we didn’t have his real name so we couldn’t look him up to see if he had purchased tickets ahead of time, which we would have cancelled and notified the person they were not able to attend. I’m not sure if this was the person who ultimately gave her the issues onsite, but we were working with her ahead of the event to keep her and everyone around her safe.
When we heard that something did go down, we immediately reached out to her, and here was the response we got: http://imgur.com/a/d0Yld
With all of these issues boiling over, we (the event) and I (the owner of the event) are sick to our stomachs. I feel super-confident that if you talk to ANYONE who knows me and/or knows my staff know how much we love and respect this industry and the people who work in it. We’ve fought the public stigma against the adult industry since 2006. We’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and endless hours fighting (both legally and socially) the unfair stigmas of adult performers, businesses and fans. Some of our best friends are adult performers, cam models, industry members and business owners and it pains me to think that anyone would think differently of us.
We did see a very dramatic increase in threats made to performers (mainly cam performers) ahead of this year’s EXXXOTICA Chicago event. This was the first event we’ve ever had to truly ban attendees from. We took every single threat made very seriously, cancelling tickets of those we could identify, and adding names and photos to a list provided to the security, local police, and convention center and hotel management ahead of time.
Since EXXXOTICA started we have always had hired security as well as local police on our payroll to help handle any issues onsite. We are now also moving forward with adding a full-time security head to our staff of employees who will travel with us to every single event we produce. As the threats have increased recently, so has our awareness, staffing and internal plans on how to best combat the issue.
We haven’t become the largest adult event in the country by accident. We bust our asses 365 days a year to create an event that everyone can feel safe and respected at. We are always open to suggestions or thoughts and if anyone has any additional questions, thoughts, ideas, concerns, I am always available personally. My contact info is below.