I know, I know: Times are tough. Every news outlet there is has been struggling for years with the simultaneous decline in revenue and increase in work load wrought by the digital age, so it’s little surprise that one even as major as the New York Daily News would have no room in its budget to employ a fact checker.
But fret not, Daily News, for I am here to offer that service free of charge—at least in regards to the article you ran on Thursday, “‘Just because I’m a porn star, I don’t want to be raped’: adult film industry awaits its #MeToo moment as actresses struggle to be believed.”
Clearly, your knowledge of the porn business is on par with Alana Evans’ of aerospace engineering—and I’ll get to her in a bit—but again, that’s why I’m here to help.
So then, let’s start at the top. I am going to assume that you watched the same video I’ve seen of the “raw footage” shot by director Tony T. of the sex scene between Nikki Benz and Ramon Nomar that has been at the center of ongoing legal and media crossfire between all three parties for nearly a year and a half.
Now admittedly, it’s been some time since I viewed said footage, so my precise recollection of every detail may be a bit hazy. However, as best I can recall, I witnessed no “pleas to stop” from Ms. Benz at any point, as you claim in your very first sentence the video contains. And I think I would remember that.
But let’s presume for a moment that, like I said, my memory isn’t photographic enough to say for sure. How then do you explain this statement further down in your story: “Benz isn’t seen fighting back in any of the videos”? Maybe a “plea to stop” doesn’t quite count as “fighting back,” and therefore you’re not TECHNICALLY contradicting yourself? This is hair-splitting territory we’re in, no doubt.
I wonder, though, what you were getting at two paragraphs down from that, where you noted: “At one point, she’s commanded ‘Hold your legs,’ to which she responds, ‘Hold my legs.'”
Uh … what? Is repeating something somebody just said to you a “plea to stop”? Is “Hold my legs” some kind of porno code I’ve never been apprised of for “Get away from me”? I’m utterly confounded here, so let’s just move on.
About a quarter way into the story, you say that, according to Ms. Benz, the day before the shoot “she was only told what to wear, that the scene would be with a man and hardcore in nature.” Then ten paragraphs later you say that according to her lawyer, Dan Gilleon, “nothing was discussed beyond what Benz would wear.”
Do these not strike you as conflicting statements? Like, blatantly so? Did it not occur to you that maybe, possibly, by some far-flung chance, you might should seek a little clarification from either party as to whether anything was or was not discussed beyond what Benz would wear? Just wondering.
Oh, but it gets worse: In perhaps the most stunningly absurd tidbit of all, you report that Ms. Benz told you “someone of her caliber usually gets a regimented script the day before filming — sometimes including photos or diagrams of a position because companies want a particular shot.”
If Nikki Benz in fact told you this, it completely eviscerates whatever credibility she may have had in one fell swoop.
In all my years observing the production of pornography, which are many, not once have I seen a diagram or photo or drawing or cave etching or anything of the sort presented to a performer of any sex position a director wanted them to execute so as to capture a producer’s desired shot. Furthermore, it is virtually impossible to fathom that a performer with Nikki Benz’s experience—or, as you put it, “of her caliber”—would be unfamiliar with any and every sex position imaginable, and would need such a diagram to pull it off. It’s such a ludicrous proposition, it’s akin to saying it’s not uncommon for Gordon Ramsay to require a recipe for making spaghetti.
All right, now let’s talk about, as promised, the one other adult performer you spoke with for this story: Alana Evans. Pardon me … as you yourself noted, FORMER adult performer. Yes, like the majority of her cohorts in the great and powerful Adult Performers Actors Guild, she is not active as a performer or an actor, if those are to be considered different things, nor has she been for quite some time.
And just how great and powerful IS the Adult Performers Actors Guild, you ask? Well, if we are to believe that everyone pictured in the header of its Twitter page is a standing member, there would appear to be a whopping SEVEN of them. But seeing as how the mother union of which it is a part, the International Entertainment Adult Union, listed FIVE total members in its 2017 filing with the U.S. Labor Department, that APAG membership figure seems a little high.
Really, though, that’s neither here nor there. The big question is how Alana Evans could say with a straight face, after watching the same video myself and presumably you saw, that “Nikki was completely sexually assaulted in that film.”
After all, as you were told by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office—who certainly would have no compelling reason NOT to go after a pornographer for sexually assaulting a woman—they found, after reviewing the same video … the one everybody in this discussion has seen with their own two eyes … that it contained “insufficient evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.”
So again, why is Alana Evans the only one here who seems to think otherwise? Well I have one theory: Because it would fly in the face of her relentless, desperate pursuit of the self-appointed mantle of chief spokeswoman and advocate for the rights of all adult performers. Even ones who may be telling lies in order to protect their egos.
Speaking of which … according to your story, it seems Ms. Benz has adopted a new line of reasoning as to why the video of her alleged assault appears to everyone except Alana Evans to contain no assault: because “her fear was so strong that she went along so she could get out of there.”
Gee, where have I heard that one before? Oh yes, from one Leigh Raven. You’re familiar with Leigh Raven, you brought her up too … only you failed to mention that due to there being no evidence of assault in her claimed assault, she has effectively folded her cards and slunk away with her tail tucked between her legs, making it known that she shan’t be bothered to speak of this matter again.
Well not to worry, for Nikki Benz has committed herself, evidently, to carrying on the fight, come hell or high water or being laughed out of court because what she wants to convince the world via loud insistence in the media was definitely, most totally for sure a case of assault … simply wasn’t.
Like you said, “The entire encounter is caught on video.”
One other thing: The statement toward the end of your story by way of Benz’s attorney Gilleon about how “the fact that prosecutors even examined the case is a major step forward in getting these sorts of accusations examined” is laugh-out-loud preposterous. As you may or may not be aware (I’m leaning toward not), prosecutors MUST examine any formal accusation made via a police report. This comment is tantamount to saying, “The fact that police came to my home when I called them to report that I’d been robbed is a major step forward in investigating robberies.”
But enough about all that. Ultimately, there’s a bigger issue at hand here, and that’s the misrepresentation of the adult industry in mainstream media, which is in fact a never-ending epidemic that’s been ongoing as long as mainstream reporters have written about porn.
You do not have so much as the most rudimentary understanding of this industry. You have no more place reporting on it than Lana Rhoades would have weighing in on the plight of Somali women in Jakarta. Maybe even less.
These are turbulent waters, Daily News, and yes, they do flow into the #MeToo movement. So next time you feel like splashing through them, do some proper research … use some critical thought … and for god’s sake, check your facts.
The was submitted to me by someone who wishes to remain anonymous..