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Woman Says James Deen Sexually Assaulted Her At A Vegas Party
Several women have now come forward alleging that porn performer James Deen sexually assaulted them, including his ex-girlfriend and a writer who told LAist that he grabbed her and forced himself on her at a party during the 2009 AVN Awards in Las Vegas.
The allegations against porn star James Deen began on Saturday when Stoya—an adult performer, writer and model who dated Deen in 2014—tweeted that Deen had once raped her. She also expressed anger at Deen being heralded in the media as a feminist. After this, performer Joanna Angel—who dated Deen for six years—Tweeted in solidarity with Stoya, calling Deen "the worst human" she had ever met.
A woman came forward with her account to LAist. She asked us not to use her full name, but her initials instead: T.M. I've known her for four years, and she told me about the following encounter about two years ago. She says that only now with other women stepping forward to tell their stories does she feel comfortable speaking up about her experience. LAist has reached out to Deen as well as Joanna Angel for their comment on her allegations, and we will update this post if we hear back from them.
T.M. said her encounter with Deen occurred in 2009, when she was 21 years old. She was attending the The AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Venetian in Las Vegas as a writer for an adult media outlet. She had met Joanna Angel, who was dating Deen at the time, online and met her in person for the first time at the event. She said that upon first meeting Deen, he was friendly, charming and flirtatious. To her knowledge, Angel and Deen were in a monogamous relationship outside of their work.
Her next encounter with Deen would be at a party in the hotel. She described what happened this way:
"I'd been drinking with my coworkers and friends, and I wandered up to a party in a suite not really knowing what it was. As soon as I walked [into the party], Deen saw me. He didn't say anything. He 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. As soon as he was done, he walked away. I was kind of in shock and I was embarrassed, so I just left, and I didn't tell anyone. And I didn't tell the people around me who had seen it that I didn't want it, because here's this person who's important in the industry who's dating my friend and is involved business-wise with people I worked with. I didn't want it to affect my career or my friends' careers. At the time, I also blamed myself. It felt like a weird gray area. And I don't think anyone there knew that what he was doing wasn't consensual.
T.M. said she eventually determined that what Deen allegedly did wasn't about her, but to hurt Angel. "Now she knows the truth and believes me, and we've continued to be friends," she said.
T.M. later saw Deen at several other work events, but continued to keep quiet. However, she soon began to hear rumors of other allegations of misconduct against women, both in his personal and professional life. She also heard about how he had allegedly treated Angel during their relationship, and eventually her guilt turned to anger.
"I warned people that I knew about him, and if I ever saw a friend or acquaintance make some sort of 'James Deen is so dreamy' post, I would have a private conversation with them about what really happened. But I wasn't ready to do that publicly, because he was still an important figure in the industry and again, I didn't want to affect my or my friends' careers by bringing it to light. He had the audacity once to ask me why I didn't like him," she said.
With Stoya's admission—as well as the statements issued by other performers including Angel, Tori Lux and Ashley Fires—T.M. said she felt like the "dam was breaking" and that we'll soon see more people come forward.
"It was so frustrating and hurtful to see him be regarded as a feminist porn star in GQ and other magazines and TV shows, and I couldn't escape him. It's been seven years and I feel like I've healed and I'm a stronger person now, but it still sucks to be scrolling through Instagram or reading a blog and having to come face to face with a picture of your abuser being heralded as a good guy," she said. "For a long time, I didn't call what he did to me 'rape,' because I blamed myself and thought it was my fault. It's taken a lot for me to be able to say it. I went from not talking about it or just saying 'he did something that wasn't cool,' to saying it was a sexual assault, to calling it was it was."
Deen has publicly stated on Twitter that the allegations against him are not true. According to TMZ, sources have told them that Deen feels as though his accusers are confusing the sexually assertive man he portrays in adult films with his personal life.