Porn Stars Allege Abuse Violence on Set
Porn actors Leigh Raven and Riley Nixon have released a more than hour-long YouTube video detailing two different incidents of alleged abuse on adult sets. They say both events took place during shoots with the male performer Rico Strong, and for a director known as Just Dave. Their accusations include misleading booking practices, excessive face-slapping and choking, and boundary violations.
In Raven’s case, the shoot in question took place earlier in the week of March 6. Raven says she has filed a police report and undergone a medical evaluation as part of the investigation. Nixon’s allegation concerns a shoot that happened in early January; she came forward with her account only in response to Raven’s claims, which were initially aired in a cryptic tweet on Thursday. Raven declined to comment directly to Jezebel, citing the ongoing investigation. Nixon did not respond to our request.
Rico Strong also did not respond to a request for comment, but he has responded to the allegations in a long series of tweets. In one, he wrote, “I’m the coolest mf to be around on set I stay to myself and do my job and leave I don’t know why someone would put false words out on me.” Just Dave alleged to Jezebel via Twitter DM that he has six hours of unedited footage of the shoot with Raven and that it “does not match what she is claiming.” He says he has provided the footage to police and that he plans to release it publicly “soon enough.”
These accusations follow two other recent notable cases where porn performers have alleged on-set abuse. In 2017, performer Nikki Benz accused director and performer Tony T of excessive roughness during a shoot he directed for Brazzers. In 2015, several performers spoke out about alleged abuse on adult sets by porn star James Deen. Among the on-set accusations against Deen were excessive violence and sexual assault.
Raven’s and Nixon’s allegations speak to the pressure porn performers sometimes feel to go along with a shoot that’s already underway—either out of fear for their physical safety, career viability, or the need for a paycheck. They also come in the midst of the #MeToo moment, which is highlighting all of the many reasons that women sometimes continue with undesirable or abusive sex without directly saying “no” or heading for the door.
The YouTube testimonial, which was filmed and uploaded by Raven’s wife Nikki Hearts, begins with nearly 40 minutes of Raven’s detailed and graphic description of the shoot. Wearing a hoodie and facing the camera head-on, she says that Strong, whom she considered a friend, called her on Tuesday to ask if she could replace a no-show performer in a shoot that day. Raven, who is white, says that Strong, who is black, told her that it was a “kinda rough” scene with “light racial play,” and that he would be referring to her as “‘my little saltine’ or ‘my little cracker.’” She agreed and showed up on the set that afternoon, where Raven says a production assistant similarly told her that the scene would be “a little rough.”
Before the shoot began, she says that she sat down with Strong on-camera to record their respective “dos and don’ts,” a common practice in the porn industry meant to establish boundaries and provide proof of consent. Raven says she agreed to a range of activities, including being smacked on the face. “The thing that I did tell my male costar was that I have a very shallow cervix,” says Raven. She added that she told him to “back off” if she gave “any sort of indication that I am hurting and in pain” and that “he agreed to that.” Raven says she also mentioned that she struggles with the reverse-cowgirl position and that “both the director and the male talent said that would not be an issue.”
For the scene itself, she was asked to wear a tank top bearing “the Democratic party donkey.” It began, she says, with Strong asking her several race-related questions, including, “Which party was in favor of slavery?” As she answered, she says there was off-camera banter between Strong and the production assistant along the lines of, “Oh, she’s a smart white bitch.” As she put it in the YouTube video, “Already I’m feeling like I don’t know if this is necessarily something that I agreed to.” In other words, she says the “race play” didn’t seem as “light” as she had initially believed.
Conversations of racism within the adult industry have surfaced in recent weeks after a video of a female performer, Davina Davis, making a series of racist comments circulated online. The video prompted some performers of color—particularly black men—to speak out about the pervasive and casual racism that they routinely encounter within the adult industry. (On Twitter, Strong has argued that the accusations against him are racially motivated, writing, “This been going on for decades black men are the forbidden Fruit everybody. Want to taste &touch but don’t want nobody to know they like it.”) These dynamics persist against the backdrop of a business that often frames “interracial scenes”—specifically, scenes between black men and white women—as the ultimate taboo.
This taboo was to be explored in the scene between Raven and Strong but, she says, developed in a way that she had not agreed to. In her YouTube account, Raven alleges that Strong said something about “black payback” and “comes into the scene and hits me very, very hard across the face.” She adds, “It wasn’t a fake slap, it wasn’t a slap that we typically use in porn to make things look a little bit more intense than they actually are. It’s very painful and it definitely stunned me. I, you know, saw stars, so to speak.”
Then they moved onto the blow job scene, “a very, very, very rough blow job where if I pulled back I got punished, so to speak,” she says. “I would get hit, I would get called names.” Then, she says, the director became “aggravated” that she was not vomiting from the blow job. (On-camera vomiting is generally considered extreme and is usually prohibited within the industry.) “They tossed me a bag of apples and a water and they said, ‘I hope you like apples,’” she says, the idea being that the apples would help her to vomit. “So I began to eat my apples, at this point covered in saliva, snot. I’m sitting on the edge of the couch, not really saying much, wanting this to really be over.”
At this point in the YouTube video, Raven’s wife, who is sitting behind the camera, interjects to suggest that viewers might be wondering why she didn’t leave. “To be perfectly honest, I was afraid,” says Raven. “I was afraid because Rico had mentioned in the past to me that, you know, if people fuck with his money he’s not going to have it. So if I were to call that scene in that moment he wouldn’t get paid, I wouldn’t get paid, and I didn’t know what could happen to me. I was in a warehouse, it was nighttime, there were multiple men on set, it was just me, I didn’t have a car.” She adds, “I just said to myself, ‘Let’s just get this over with.’”
Raven says she ate “about three apples” and then was “required” to vomit. “Rico was then sticking his dick in my mouth as far as he could while I was giving him, you know, leg squeezes, leg nudges, to ease up, but he wasn’t easing up and he actually acknowledged the fact that I wanted his dick out of my mouth so I could breathe, because it was becoming unbearable at this point, because I had big, giant pieces of apple coming up the sides of my throat where, essentially, I’m choking.”
At one point, she says, she was lying with her head hanging toward the floor during oral sex and she had to pull away and vomit. “I got in trouble and was beat vigorously with the largest, strongest hands you can imagine,” she said. “I proceeded to get slapped in the face, I proceeded to be slapped on my ass, my thighs, my inner thighs, and at this point I begin to cry and now I’m not just crying because I’m deep-throating a dick.”
Halfway through the blow job scene, she says she was asked to eat more apples so that they could get more vomit shots. “At this point, I didn’t really move from the couch. I stayed in my spot covered in all sorts of bodily fluids... while drinking water and eating apples.” She explains that she continued filming because “we’re just getting further and further into the scene, which means that I get to go home sooner and sooner.”Read More...