Porn star James Deen has blocked the distribution of a documentary that addresses rape allegations against him, according to a lawsuit filed by the film’s director.
Maria Demopoulos alleges Deen thwarted the film’s distribution on Showtime by taking the signed releases from her producer’s office. Demopoulos (“The Source Family”) accuses Deen of fraud, conversion and breach of fiduciary duty, and claims she is owed at least $150,000.
According to the suit, Demopoulos was hired by Deen’s company, Seven Sins, to direct the documentary in 2015. She shot footage of Deen at the AVN convention in Las Vegas and elsewhere, conducted interviews and gathered archival footage. She was on track to complete a director’s cut in late 2015, when Deen’s ex-girlfriend, Stoya, went on Twitter and accused him of rape. Another dozen women came forward with other allegations against Deen.
The first cut of the film, delivered on Dec. 27, 2015, did not include reference to any of the allegations. Her producer and a Showtime executive agreed that the film — originally expected to be broadcast in mid-2016 — would have to be re-edited to address the new claims.
Demopoulos says she conducted additional interviews, re-interviewed subjects such as Bret Easton Ellis, and pursued several of Deen’s accusers. Each of the subjects who appeared in the film signed releases. In July 2016, Demopoulos delivered a second version of the film to Showtime.
The producers screened the second version for Deen on July 30, 2016. He had some requests for changes, but his overall reaction appeared to be positive, the suit alleges. However, three months later Deen appeared unannounced at the producer’s Culver City office. The producer was out of state shooting a film, and Deen persuaded a production assistant to turn over a binder of signed releases, Demopoulos claims.