Inside Ron Jeremy Sexual Misconduct Allegations - Rolling Stone
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Inside Ron Jeremy Sexual Misconduct Allegations

After years of worrying their stories would be brushed off, women are coming forward with accusations against the famous porn star

Inside Ron Jeremy Sexual Misconduct AllegationsInside Ron Jeremy Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Ron Jeremy has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women. He denies all the allegations.

Justin Leighton/eyevine/ZUMA

Last June, a woman named Ginger Banks posted a YouTube video that circulated widely among those in the adult entertainment industry. In it, Banks, dressed down in a topknot and spectacles, calmly addresses the camera as her dog sleeps in the background: “There have been allegations of rape and sexual assault against Ron Jeremy,” she says, her hands folded on her lap.

In the 10-minute clip – which amassed more than 50,000 views – Banks compiles allegations against Jeremy from all corners of the adult-industry Internet, including stories of everything from indecent exposure, nonconsensual digital penetration and rape. “He tried to forcefully kiss me on the lips and he grabbed my ass,” one woman wrote on Twitter. “He slipped his fingers into my panties under my panties and into my vagina #notokay,” another tweeted.

A 40-year porn veteran, Jeremy, 64, did not achieve fame due to his good looks; with his hirsute, fleshy physique, stringy hair and unkempt mustache, he easily earned his nickname, the Hedgehog. He immediately achieved notoriety for his stamina, his ability to perform on command, and not least of all his prodigious, nine and three-quarter-inch member. Since then, he has made cameos in countless mainstream shows and movies like Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and Detroit Rock City, as well as any number of late-night B-movies. He has also appeared in dozens of music videos – donning a gold chain and orange tan in LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” – and has been name-dropped in everything from the Netflix series Big Mouth to Sublime’s paean to hand jobs, “Caress Me Down.”

“He’s an avatar of a regular guy,” says Nina Hartley, a porn performer and director who has known Jeremy for more than 30 years. “The average porn viewer looks at him and thinks, ‘If a guy like Ron Jeremy can get laid, there’s hope for me.'”

For this reason, Jeremy has a reputation as an elder statesman of porn – a goofy, almost family-friendly totem of an industry that is often dismissed. Yet many women inside the industry claim his presence is far more sinister than that. Rolling Stone spoke with more than a dozen women both on and off the record who made such claims against Jeremy, alleging that the famous porn star violated their boundaries, taking advantage of both his status as an industry legend and their status as sex workers as grounds to flout the basic rules of consent.

“People expect this from him. If I went and got mad on Twitter, people would say, ‘That’s Ron,'” says adult performer Kendra Sunderland. She alleges that Jeremy sucked her breast without her consent at a Dallas expo in 2015. “But if I said a fan did it, they’d say ‘That’s not OK, that’s crossing a line.'”

“He doesn’t hear no,” says former performer Jennifer Steele. She alleges that Jeremy raped her twice, once at a photoshoot and once at his apartment, in December 1997. “He just kinda keeps going and pretends like you didn’t say anything.”

Jeremy refutes these accusations, claiming that all the interactions he’s had have been consensual. “These allegations are pure lies or buyers remorse,” Jeremy told Rolling Stone in an emailed statement. “I have never and would never rape anyone. All serious allegations have been investigated by police and dismissed by judges, as have most of the accusations of ‘groping.’ I have never been charged nor spent one day in court for any of this.” (Jeremy’s full statement has been appended to the end of this article.)

While a handful of these allegations have previously surfaced in the media, for the most part they have only spread word-of-mouth among women in the tight-knit industry – which has, some women allege, responded with silence. “I have viewed him as the missing stair in the adult community,” says performer Jessica Drake, who has not been assaulted by Jeremy but has “personally witnessed him being grabby to a multitude of women on a multitude of occasions.” (The “missing stair” is a term used to describe a known sexual predator within a community who is whispered about but tolerated nonetheless.)

Part of this apparent apathy stems from Jeremy’s status as an icon in the industry; part of it from sex-worker stigma, which makes it even more daunting for women to come forward. Much of it also likely stems from the fact that unlike mainstream Hollywood or other industries – where the lines of appropriate physical contact are more clearly drawn, if not always observed – there are admittedly gray areas when it comes to the adult industry. In a sexually open field where most people know (and have often had on-camera sex with) each other, a pat on the ass on a film set or at an expo is not always an unwelcome gesture.

Actor Ron Jeremy performs The Star Spangled Banner during Rockfest 2013 at Liberty Memorial on May 11, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.

For this reason, Jeremy says, his behavior with fans and other performers is well within the bounds of acceptability. “There is ‘put on’ flirting and touching for the photos,” says Jeremy. “This is exactly what people pay me for at conventions. The female performers flirt and touch too. It’s what we do.”

Yet many performers Rolling Stone spoke with say that Jeremy’s behavior is not considered standard in the adult industry at all. Some say they believe Jeremy uses his public persona as a lovable lech as a smokescreen for violating other performers’ consent, particularly in public spaces where such behavior would otherwise be considered morally reprehensible at best and criminal at worst.

“I think Ron is an anomaly, and you’d be hard-pressed to say there’s any other person who’s been able to publicly sexually harass or assault people and get away with it,” says Julia Ann, a popular performer who has been working in the porn industry for more than two decades. “It’s one thing for someone to do it in their hotel room or their condo or their office or their car, but he can do it in the middle of a convention.”

Porn star Amber Lynn likens the behavior of men like Jeremy to that of an “aggressive dog.” “You have to be very clear,” she says.

The performers Rolling Stone spoke with say Jeremy’s alleged behavior is particularly egregious given how highly consent is generally valued in the adult community. It is an industry where stars have “no” lists for performers they don’t want to work with, where just about every single sexual act is parsed and negotiated with a rigorous attention to detail before every shot.

Despite a few highly publicized examples of consent violations in porn (like the prominent sexual assault allegations against James Deen), sex workers tend to have an acute understanding of the importance of affirmative consent, largely because they have practice negotiating their own sexual boundaries. “When there are dollar signs involved, the lines [of consent] actually get drawn much more distinctly,” says Julia Ann.

It’s not insignificant that the vast majority of those who have publicly accused Jeremy of sexual assault had been involved in the porn or sex industries at some point in their lives.

Even if it is done under legal circumstances, as is usually the case in the porn industry, sex work is shrouded in stigma, and rates of sexual assault and violence are extremely high: while statistics are hard to pin down, sex workers have an approximately 45 percent to 75 percent chance of experiencing workplace violence in their careers, according to a 2014 global review of sexual or physical violence against sex workers in the American Journal of Public Health.

Yet few assaults are reported to the police, ostensibly because sex workers who come forward are likely to be blamed or disbelieved by law enforcement.

“We have only just now reached the point where lawyers and judges understand that victims are not to blame for being raped,” says Laura Agustin, an anthropologist and author of Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry. “Everyone else tends unconsciously to assume women were ‘doing something to encourage’ what befell them. If you add that women are selling sex, then most people in the world probably see that as a form of ‘asking for it.'”

In other words, in the eyes of many, sexual abuse of sex workers is viewed not as a violation of consent but as a mere hazard of the trade. This is precisely why Jeremy’s detractors say he has gotten away with this behavior for so long.

“There’s this idea of: ‘This is what you signed up for when you decided to be a sex worker and when you decided to be in the adult industry,'” says Banks, who has been leading a de facto social-media campaign against Jeremy since early 2017.

Most of the allegations against Jeremy have been passed through whisper networks, but there is legal documentation for at least two of the complaints: First, in 2003, Jeremy was questioned by police on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct following an appearance at a Deja Vu strip club in Ypsilanti, Michigan. According to John Minzey, a retired sergeant of the Ypsilanti police department, a woman from Ann Arbor who had driven with her friend to the club to see Jeremy had gone with him to a back room at the club, where she alleged he held her down and raped her.

Minzey says the woman’s friend didn’t corroborate her statement. “She said she thought [the sex] was consensual,” says Minzey. Police also interviewed Jeremy himself, who also claimed the sex was consensual. Washtenaw County First Assistant Prosecutor Konrad Siller did not press charges against Jeremy. (Siller declined to comment to Rolling Stone.)

“It was basically ‘he said, she said,'” says Minzey, adding that the woman did not have bruises or any sign of forced penetration. “She didn’t waver in her story. She said she was held down, and he said she wasn’t.” In his statement to Rolling Stone, Jeremy denied all allegations. “I have never raped anyone,” he wrote.

Then, in 2007, Jeremy was held on suspicion of battery after a woman named Leslie Sanchez accused him of reaching inside her bra, pulling out her breast and signing it without her permission at Miami Beach Exxxotica. According to a police report obtained by Rolling Stone, “He pulled the nipple up and took out [Sanchez’s] breast and signed his name on it.” In response, Jeremy claimed that he did not do anything wrong: “I probably signed about 150 boobs that weekend, all of which I sign ‘RJ’ with a heart,'” he told TMZ.

While the women who reported Jeremy to the police weren’t sex workers, an early allegation came from one of his colleagues: Ginger Lynn, an adult performer who was one of the highest-paid porn stars of the 1980s and early 1990s. In 2003, Lynn said on her KSEX radio show that, in December 1983, Jeremy had raped her while they were on location shooting a film, an account that he publicly denied in an interview with industry website AVN: “I went up to the room with her to take a shower and then we messed around. No goodbye, no get lost…. We were very good friends, how can you rape a friend?” (Jeremy maintains that he has never raped anyone, including Ginger Lynn. “These allegations have been online and in print for quite sometime,” he tells Rolling Stone. “This is not new or breaking news.”)

Ron Jeremy poses at Exxxotica Miami Beach at the Miami Beach Convention Center on March 31, 2007 in Miami, Florida.

While the story briefly dominated trade comment forums, it didn’t gain momentum. “No one seemed to care. Nothing happened,” Lynn wrote in a blog post she published on the subject last October. (When asked for comment, Lynn directed Rolling Stone to her blog: “The story that needs to be told is what I laid out in my blog article. I don’t really think I have any comment beyond what I said there at this time,” she said in an e-mail.) Lynn eventually went back to working with Jeremy, performing together in a 2010 porn parody of Saw.

Ginger Lynn’s public allegations prompted a few other performers to come forward, including Jennifer Steele. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Steele alleges that Jeremy sexually assaulted her in 1997, first at an adult-magazine photo shoot and, later that same day, in his Los Angeles apartment.

According to Steele, she first met Jeremy when she was 25 and working as a house dancer at the now-defunct Stars Cabaret in Beaverton, Oregon. When Jeremy came to the area to judge a Miss Nude Oregon competition, she approached him for advice on how to break into the industry. (A former club employee confirmed to Rolling Stone that Steele worked at the club during that time period, and that Jeremy was present at the competition.)

At the time, Steele was trying to become a feature dancer, which would have allowed her to get booked for higher rates at strip clubs across the country. She approached Jeremy with the idea that getting a few porn credits under her belt would be good for her career. Almost immediately, however, “he started off being really handsy,” she says. “That was one of the things I looked back at being like, ‘I should’ve known.'”

Steele says Jeremy invited her to stay at his apartment in Los Angeles, where he would introduce her to producers and try to get her booked for girl-on-girl shoots. (She says she was seeing someone at the time, so she was not comfortable doing anything else). Steele flew down shortly thereafter, where Jeremy informed her he had booked a gig for her on a photoshoot, where the sex would be simulated. During the shoot, Steele alleges, Jeremy cornered her in the bathroom and shut the door behind him.

“He was like, ‘I need to look at your ass so I can get hard for the photo shoot,'” says Steele. “Then it turned into him basically sticking it in without me knowing it was happening. I said flat-out no. It stopped, but it didn’t stop soon enough after I said no.”

Steele says she was in shock. “During the whole photo shoot I was thinking, ‘Was I just raped? What the fuck just happened?'” she says. “[But] by the time the shoot was done, I had it in my head that I had somehow exaggerated it and it was an honest mistake,” so she agreed to stay at Jeremy’s house and sleep in the same bed with him the same night, though she says she reiterated that she had a boyfriend and did not want anything sexual to happen. That night, she says, he raped her again.

“I froze,” she says. “This was after so many times of saying no and realizing that wasn’t gonna work.” As she recalls, she loudly confronted him the next day and accused him of violating her consent. “I went completely livid. I broke down,” she says. That night, he slept on the couch, and Steele flew out the next morning. When asked why she didn’t leave earlier, she responds: “What was I gonna do, walk from Los Angeles? There was no place for me to go.”

At the time, Steele says she told a number of people, including her ex-husband and her colleagues at the strip club where she worked. (When reached for comment by Rolling Stone, Steele’s ex-husband said that Steele confided in him about the incident when he picked her up from the airport. Amber Lynn, a friend of Steele’s, also said that Steele later related her account to her.) She quietly left the industry in 2010.

When asked about Steele’s allegations, Jeremy was dismissive: “Why would she decide to go to her rapist’s home? Give me a fucking break,” he said. “It is just not true.”

Steele says that while she considered reporting the incident to the police, her sexual history kept her from doing so. “I was pretty promiscuous,” she says. “I was a stripper. I couldn’t prove it.”

Steele believes that is precisely why Jeremy allegedly assaulted her. “He hides behind other women’s scarlet letters, is what he does,” she says. “[He] know[s] if someone’s a porn star and they say they’ve been raped, people aren’t gonna take it seriously.”

While the allegations against Jeremy
have been percolating for decades, it wasn’t until Ginger Banks posted her video – and the New York Times broke the story on Harvey Weinstein – that the accusations began to get noticed outside the industry.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Banks says she was motivated to take a stand against Jeremy after speaking with dozens of women who claimed he had assaulted them at conventions. “I would bring this up to industry people and they’d say, ‘Yeah, that’s Ron,'” Banks says. “And that attitude is what motivated me the most – there were people in the industry who knew about this and accepted it.”

After discovering that a website she worked for called ManyVids had employed Jeremy to host their awards show, Banks was outraged, tweeting at them that she would not support a company that associated with a “known groper.” The company quickly dropped Jeremy as a host.

“We were alarmed at the amount of women who came forth about being assaulted by a man who was considered an industry legend,” ManyVids marketing manager Laura Scavo said in an email to Rolling Stone. “Because of this, we pulled him from hosting our award show.” 

On October 23rd, after much pressure on social media, Exxxotica followed suit. When reached for comment, Dan Adams, the director of operations at Exxxotica, told Rolling Stone: “After the recent outpouring of claims on social media over the last few months, a decision was made by the show to reach out to Ron directly and agree that he would no longer attend our event.” Shortly thereafter, the industry trade group the Free Speech Coalition issued a statement saying it would be rescinding a 2009 “Positive Image” award given to Jeremy following the allegations.

While it’s not uncommon for attendees at porn conventions to try to get handsy with adult performers, it’s another thing for a performer to grope a fan or an industry colleague at an expo without consent.

In Jeremy’s case, it’s important to note that many fans do approach him with the intention of having them sign their breasts. “Any time I have been anywhere near him, people run right past me and trample me to get to him,” says Drake. “And I feel like I should also say I have seen women go up to him, pull down their tops, want him to grab and sign their breasts. I’ve seen civilian women jump on him, kiss him, pose for him.”

Yet some performers and expo attendees allege that he has touched their breasts or digitally penetrated them at the expos without their consent. “Some people did welcome [the groping],” says Jesse Jane, a former adult performer who frequently attends the expos. “But I know a lot of girls didn’t. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.” While Jane says she has never experienced unwanted physical contact with Jeremy, she says that she has observed him frequently trying to “grab [the girls] and touch them and rub their pussies.”

When asked for comment about the allegations of groping, Jeremy admitted that he does get handsy, but that he basically sees it as an extension of his brand. “As for the charges of Groping, I say yes, I AM A GROPER,” he tells Rolling Stone. “And by groper, I mean I get paid to show up to these shows, events, and photo shoots and touch the people and they touch me. I’m not the young stud I was, but I still draw a crowd.”

While established performers like Jane might have the social capital and wherewithal to know which figures to avoid at expos and industry events, that’s not necessarily the case for fans and people like Danica Dane, who at the time she met Jeremy, had just shot one scene and was new to the industry.

Ron Jeremy attends Day 1 of EXXXOTICA 2014 at New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center on November 7, 2014 in Edison City.

Dane was 20 years old when she went to her first Exxxotica in 2014. With her friend Sara Vibes, a New York dominatrix, she was perusing the booths in the sprawling convention center in Edison, New Jersey, when she spotted Jeremy signing autographs.

Dane immediately recognized Jeremy, and they got to talking: He commented on the fact that she looked half-Asian, and she told him she was attending his college alma mater. A few minutes later, she says, Jeremy invited Vibes and Dane into a back room at Exxxotica, to partake in some craft services food and beverages. “I felt like the dumb kid who got lured into the truck that said free candy,” says Dane. “You look at it now and you’re like, I should’ve known better.”

Once they got there, Dane says there were other people in the room, including a man who looked to be a security guard and one other woman. According to Dane, she and Jeremy posed for a few photos before Jeremy inserted his fingers insider her vagina. Vibes and Dane say they told Jeremy to stop, and that he was going too far. “I was saying, “I’m not comfortable with this,'” says Dane. “And before I know it I feel the tip of his penis inside me.”

After telling him to stop and that he was going too far, Vibes says, she pulled Jeremy off Dane. The two retreated to a booth, where they met their friend Nina Hartley. Dane started crying. “I was in shock,” she says. “I wasn’t treating it seriously.” When she got home, she got an STD test and tried to block the incident out of her mind. Later that day, Dane confided in her close friend from high school, who confirmed details of her account, as did Hartley and Jessica Drake, whom Dane spoke with that evening on a shuttle-bus between the expo and her hotel.

“She was super upset. She told me that he tried to take advantage of her,” Drake recalls. “She didn’t know what to do. She arrived at the conclusion that she did not want to call authorities or make a report and she didn’t speak out about it, and I supported [her decision].”

In an emailed statement to Rolling Stone, Jeremy confirmed that Dane and Vibes accompanied him into a “back tent” where other people, including a security guard, were present, though he denied that any unwanted physical contact took place. “We took some sexy photos with each other as people looked on or looked at their phones,” he writes. Chaz Rome, the owner of the adult company the Love Library, says he was also in the room and that Vibes and Dane “were happy, giggling, and there was no indication whatsoever that any non-consensual activity was occurring,” he wrote to Rolling Stone. (Dane refutes this.)

Dane is far from the only performer to allege inappropriate touching by Jeremy at the expos. In addition to the allegations in Banks’ viral video, porn performer Jay Taylor also claims that Jeremy digitally penetrated her without her consent when she met him at the Los Angeles AdultCon in 2013. “I was super new to the industry. I wanted to take a photo with him and I was super excited and I told him I was a performer too,” she says. “We posed for our pictures and he reached up my dress and fingered me.” (Taylor’s boyfriend, who was also at the expo and taking the photo, confirmed her account.)

Porn star Nina Hartley poses after a press conference about Paola Suhonen intimate cinematic portrait of adult film star Nina Hartley.

Lynsey G. is a journalist who was covering the adult industry when she approached Jeremy for an interview at the Edison Exxxotica Expo in 2009. She handed him her card and asked him to sign her T-shirt after which she says he lifted up her shirt, grabbed her breast and signed it. Then, she says, he placed her breast back into her bra and kissed her on the mouth, without her consent. (A former colleague of Lynsey’s who was present at both the Expo and the afterparty confirmed her account.)

“There were people taking photos and I could hear them laughing,” Lynsey, who also wrote about the incident in her June 2017 book Watching Porn, recounted in an interview with Rolling Stone. (She says she never heard from Jeremy about the allegations in her book.) “I had no idea what to do,” she says. “I was so embarrassed. I was trying to be professional, but there was no pretense of professionalism about it. It felt like he had preplanned this in his head, like he did this to everybody.”

Later, Jeremy approached her and her colleague at an Exxxotica after-party, where Lynsey says he grabbed her from behind and gnawed on her neck. While she laughed it off at the time — “I didn’t want to be a killjoy” – she says that the experience was “deeply upsetting.”

“I had been sexually assaulted before, and my response wasn’t the same but it was of a kind: I got the clammy hands, the glossing over of everything. It was a trauma response,” she says. Her companions, however, laughed it off. “He is such a figurehead,” she says. “He is the public face of porn, for better or worse, that people will just let him do his thing.”

This was a common thread throughout the interviews Rolling Stone conducted with women who alleged they had been harassed or sexually assaulted by Jeremy: Although they felt at best uncomfortable and at worst violated by his behavior, they felt they could not speak out against him, let alone press charges, as a result of his reputation in the industry. Even in the post-Weinstein era, where the reputations of prominent men are toppling like dominoes, Ron Jeremy is perhaps one of the few men on the planet from whom sexually deviant behavior is not only tolerated but expected. Ironically, his detractors say, his reputation in this regard has only served to protect him.

“I don’t fear him costing me work. He’s not in a position of power,” says the industry veteran Julia Ann. “What is more fearful to me and more upsetting to me is me saying something and everyone looking at me and going, ‘But that’s Ron.'”

Julia Ann says that in 2011, she, Jeremy and a few other adult performers were making a personal appearance at Hedonism II, a clothing-optional resort in Negril, Jamaica. She invited Jeremy to her hotel room because she needed him to bring her his signed 8’10’ headshots to fill gift bags for guests.

“He proceeded to tell me that I needed a leg massage and I was like, ‘Actually, I don’t,'” she says. “He was like, ‘Yeah, you do. Let me massage your legs.’ So he tried to push me down on my bed and grab at my legs.”

At that point, Julia Ann says, she panicked and kicked him out of her room. “I felt in that moment I was not being heard, and I was continuing to be grabbed at and pushed,” she says.

Shortly afterward, Julia Ann told Sean Michaels, the adult performer who arranged the trip, that Jeremy had tried to force a massage on her in her hotel room. Michaels confirms having a conversation with Julia Ann about the alleged attempted assault while in Jamaica: “She said something happened with him and she didn’t feel comfortable with him being there. I said, ‘Hey, what do you wanna do? How do you wanna handle it?” Michaels also says he spoke to Jeremy about it afterward, who said he and Julia Ann had just been talking in her hotel room before she asked him to leave.

Aside from speaking to Michaels and a few close friends, Julia Ann says she never spoke out about it until now.

“I saw me going into a police station and saying, ‘I want to file a report,’ and it’d be like, ‘The Hedgehog?'” she says. “It’s a joke. I don’t feel like it would be taken seriously at all. I just wanted it to go away fast.

“Who are you telling?” she adds, her voice becoming brittle and emotional. “People who already know?”

When asked for comment on this incident, Jeremy responded by saying that it was a non-issue. “Someone claimed that in Hedonism in Jamaica, which is a nudist swingers resort, I tried to massage their leg years ago?” he writes. “Why is this even in an article?”

: Adult film actress Julia Ann attends the 2016 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 21, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Since suffering a heart attack in 2013, Jeremy primarily shoots cameos in low-budget mainstream films and TV shows, as well as the occasional non-sexual role in pornographic features. He mostly makes appearances at fan conventions and expos, where even his fellow performers say he is still considered a top draw.

In response to the allegations that he uses his appearances at conventions as a justification for groping, Jeremy writes: “If anyone was ever made to feel uncomfortable by ANY of our interactions, I’m deeply sorry. That was never my intention and it breaks my heart in half.” Yet he also points out that fans wait in line to get an autograph from a legendarily crude, loud-mouthed, ribald porn star, and that’s exactly what they get.

“I hope that everyone reading this keeps in mind that I do tons of these conventions and adult signings,” he says. “I take pictures with about 500,000 people each all over the world and have every year, for 40 years. These touching complaints are the exact same thing everyone else stood in line for. They couldn’t be happier.”

Additionally, directors who have worked with Jeremy in the years following his performer heyday say they had no idea that Jeremy was alleged to have done anything improper. Axel Braun, a top porn director who has cast Jeremy in a number of his films, says he has known Jeremy for 28 years and has a hard time viewing him as a sexual predator, and he has never witnessed him doing anything improper on set. “Is he a rapist? I don’t believe it,” he says. “Is he a horndog who tries to bang girls? Yes. So is 99 percent of the [heterosexual male] population in the [adult] industry.”

Jim Powers, who has directed Jeremy in a number of his movies and served as his cameraman in the 1990s, was even harsher in his view of the allegations against him, deeming them “a ridiculous witch hunt.” “Here’s my feeling on all these allegations: You got this whole thing going on Weinstein, people jumping on the bandwagon,” he says.

While he acknowledges that Jeremy is “flirty,” he says such behavior is extremely common on pornographic film sets, and is an integral part of Jeremy’s brand. “Ronny has been the harmless face of porno for years now,” he says. “His whole thing is sitting there posing with girls, being that perverted guy. Ronny has never tried to rape a girl. All a girl has to say is, ‘Hey, back off, Ronny,’ and it ends.”

In addition to appearances in low-budget mainstream films and pornographic features, Jeremy lends his name to various brands, including a line of spirits such as Ron de Jeremy rum and Hedgehog Gin. He also continues to make public appearances at clubs and awards shows, both in the industry and out, and regularly gives interviews to mainstream reporters about industry issues. Last January, he even hosted the XBIZ Awards, the awards show for one of the industry’s largest trade publications.

“I’ve known Ron to be a gentle soul, someone who’s lived a life of porn celebrity for decades,” Alec Helmy, the founder and publisher of XBIZ, said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “The reality is, for a porn star to be touchy-feely with fans at trade shows is common. Ron is known to partake in such behavior, but with the consent of his fans. He’s a porn icon and kind of like a rock star.”

By all accounts, Jeremy relishes his role as a spokesperson for the industry and de facto mainstream media liaison. As a not particularly attractive older man in an insular, highly marginalized, highly stigmatized community, he’s been elected a president of the only club that would have him as a member, and he doesn’t seem particularly keen on relinquishing that position anytime soon. But thanks to what some of his colleagues allege is at best a disregard for the rules of consent, and at worst a pattern of sexually predatory behavior, his time in that role may have run its course.

“The industry doesn’t need Ron anymore,” says Taylor. “[He] just sells tickets to expos and goes to sex toy openings and has his rum. But I don’t think we need him. He can find his happiness somewhere else. But not in the industry.”

• • • 

Ron Jeremy’s Full Statement: 
Let me first say, that I’m fully in support of the women and men who have been coming forward about being sexually assaulted. These real predators need to be taken down. My reputation is currently being smeared by these old allegations that have already been investigated and dismissed. However, I understand how social change works, and if my reputation has to get a bit tarnished along the way for the better treatment of women, and men, so be it. I will be there to support all people, men and women, that have bravely come forward to attack this systemic problem.

As for the allegations against me, these allegations have been online and in print for quite sometime. This is not new or breaking news. I’m shocked you guys are picking this up after it’s been reported on over and over by other publications and has been proven over and over to be false.

I have never and would never rape anyone. All serious allegations have been investigated by police and dismissed by judges, as have most of the accusations of “Groping”. I have never been charged nor spent one day in court for any of this. And these are old allegations. Check, Anything about me appearing in court or in jail, is public record. I was only arrested 20 years ago when I was fighting for Freedom Of Speech with Hal Freeman. The police who looked into the groping charges have always said that they watch the video from the event or whatever and that I did nothing wrong or illegal. They then ask if I want to press charges against The people making false accusations. I never have.

As for the charges of Groping, I say yes, I AM A GROPER. And by groper, I mean I get paid to show up to these shows, events, and photo shoots and touch the people and they touch me. I’m not the young stud I was, but I still draw a crowd. And we are talking about things that are within reason, in front of police officer’s and security that are always there as well as the tons of cameras And the general public. But seriously, if you were going to be around Ron Jeremy, wouldn’t you assume that I’d be a little bit touchy Feely? Yes. This is what I do for a living. I am not Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Weinstein, or Cosby.

For over 40 years fans and fellow performers pay money and wait in long lines to meet me. They want autographs, pictures, to flirt with me, physically grab me in different areas (usually my clothed penis), they ask me to touch them and many ask to have me sign their boobs. When I take photos with fans and other performers at these conventions, signings or events, I do sometimes kiss people on the lips or the cheek, sign boobs or whatever they want. There is “put on” flirting and touching for the photos. This is exactly what people pay me for at conventions. The female performers flirt and touch too. It’s what we do. If you watch these videos that Ginger Banks put out of me “groping,” you see that everyone in the videos is laughing and “groping” too. That I’m not running up to them, they come to me.

If anyone was ever made to feel uncomfortable by ANY of our interactions, I’m deeply sorry. That was never my intention and it breaks my heart in half.

I hope that everyone reading this keeps in mind that I do tons of these conventions and adult signings. I take pictures with about 500,000 people each all over the world and have every year, for 40 years. These touching complaints are the exact same thing everyone else stood in line for. They couldn’t be happier.

I have never raped anyone. If anyone continues those claims, that is defamation. I will sue them in court.

I’m not saying that I never met these people or interacted with them. I don’t remember most of them, how could I? I may have seen hundreds people on those days. A girl said that I took her into a back room at a convention? Now this I remember. No one pushed anyone anywhere, she and a girl friend of hers asked if they could come in to the back tent with me. “Back room” was actually a small tent where the performers went to relax and eat crafty. There were seven other people in the small tent including security guard. And we took some sexy photos with each other as people looked on or looked at their phones. If I did anything wrong, that security guard who works for the convention, would have taken me down and called the police. And someone claimed that in hedonism in Jamaica, which is a nudist swingers resort, I tried to massage their leg years ago? Why is this even in an article?

I am very happy that the scum bags of the earth are being taken down. They deserve it. But these allegations are pure lies or buyers remorse. In 40 years, I’ve never been punched by a boyfriend or anyone ever.

I have been heartbroken over these allegations. Not because it affects me or my business, I can take that, but because they are lies and there are actual women and men out there Who have been victims of serious sexual assault, and so on, that are trying to get their voices heard.

Again, It does bother me that there might be women out there that had some buyers remorse after our interactions. But I did nothing wrong or out of the ordinary for these conventions or events. These events are supposed to be a fun time. That video that Ginger Banks made looks like a pro Ron Jeremy video if you turn off the sound. Everyone in the videos is having fun with me.

This really is a non-story. However I’m glad I had a chance to speak my side.
– Ron Jeremy

In This Article: Pornography, sexual misconduct


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