Author Defends James Deen: Rape ‘Witch Hunt’

James Deen (David Azia / Associated Press)
David Azia / Associated Press

Porn star James Deen, accused of rape or sexual assault by nearly a dozen women, has backup in the form of renowned author and columnist Bret Easton Ellis, who likened the damning allegations against porn’s “boy next door” to a “ridiculous witch hunt.”

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the American Psycho author said that all of the accusations began with a vital “untruth” from porn star Stoya, an ex-girlfriend of Deen’s who tweeted on November 28 that Deen had held her down and raped her as she pleaded with him to stop and used a “safeword.”

In the wake of that tweet, at least eight other female adult performers have come forward with stories alleging Deen had raped or sexually assaulted them, usually on or near porn sets.

“Most of the people in James’ close circle know that this is a wild distortion, a lie on Stoya’s part,” Ellis told THR of the porn star’s initial accusation. “And when this evidence comes out with texts and emails, it’s going to prove everyone who is #solidaritywithstoya to be ashamed of themselves. So I think that’s part of the problem.”

Ellis told the outlet text messages sent from Stoya to Deen prove that Stoya had made “threats” against the porn star.

“I have seen firsthand what was going on in that relationship — and this is a very unstable person,” Ellis said of Stoya, noting that he had traveled with the couple before. “And the threats in texts and emails that James has is part of the reason why he’s remaining kind of cool about this. Because this is all going to come out — that she has threatened rape claims against him at other times in the relationship.”

Ellis also said it was “not a coincidence” that Stoya posted the tweets on the same day Deen purchased a house with a new girlfriend.

Deen broke his silence over the rape accusations in an interview with the Daily Beast earlier this week, saying he was “completely baffled” by them. In his remarks to that outlet and on Twitter, Deen said that while the lines between “rough” BDSM pornography and reality could be blurry, he always respects performers’ personal boundaries.

“If at any point I pushed boundaries past the point of comfort, I am sorry,” Deen told the Daily Beast. “I have always tried to respect peoples’ limits and safe words and operated within that space. If someone expressed anything to me I honored the request with the fullest care.”

Ellis added to THR that “most people I know who know James are not taking these claims seriously.”

The author elaborated:

“I mean everyone’s saying, ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re in the porn world. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the porn industry.’ Well I think it does. I think when we’re talking about porn sets and BDSM parties, I don’t know. Are there any of these allegations — and I was looking at them closely to see, ‘Am I wrong about James? Am I wrong?’ — but to me there is a sliding scale of offenses. I’m sorry, but there is a sliding scale of offenses. It just seems so distorted, let’s put it that way. The allegations seem so distorted. And because they are on porn sets and stuff, I don’t know, out of the 6,000 women James has been with, ten people come forward with this and are complaining.”

In the wake of the allegations, two major porn production companies — including, for whom Deen has reportedly filmed over 200 scenes — have said they will no longer work with the porn star. None of the accusers has yet filed any lawsuits related to the sexual assault claims.


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