Sex work

The porn star who accused James Deen of rape is ready to move on in a big way

Adult film actress Stoya arrives at the 26th annual Adult Video News Awards Show at the Mandalay Bay Events Center January 10, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

She is known to the world as Stoya, a subversive porn star who shocked her industry last year by being the first woman to come forward accusing the biggest male star of the porn world, James Deen, of rape, a claim that was later echoed by 12 other women and led studios to cut ties with Deen. (Deen repeatedly denied the allegations.) Now, the woman behind the scandal, whose real name is Jessica, has revealed that she’s been taking time away from porn to figure out how she ended up where she did, and where she will go next. In an in-depth interview with New York magazine, she reflects on her time growing up in North Carolina and Delaware before moving to Philadelphia, where her roommate introduced to her a photographer looking to take nude photos for a porn site. She was wearing a see-through fishnet top when they met.

“And he’s like, ‘Here’s the situation, you don’t mind being naked, right?’” she told the magazine, to which she responded, “Clearly not, sir!”

When Stoya began dating Deen in 2012, porn fans monitored the couple’s every move on Instagram, earning the pair the title of the porn industry’s own “Brangelina.” But a year into their relationship, Deen raped her while she told him to stop, she said. After they broke up a year later, she tweeted about the alleged rape, which opened a floodgate of other accusations.

Stoya hosted a major porn awards show the week after making the accusations against Deen, during which she joked about not wanting to comment on the allegations, and then refused to participate in a panel on sexual consent with Deen to discuss it. Since she posted the explosive tweets, she’s kept a low profile. But now Stoya is hoping to get back into porn in a more proactive way. She is directing a 26-year-old trans activist named Ava in her own solo porn film and wants to make porn films showing herself aging on camera. She eschews the idea of referring to herself as feminist, “I think part of my problem is, don’t put me in the pink corner. I am a deeply conflicted feminist person who gets regularly called a feminist pornographer when I see nothing inherently feminist about the pornography I produce,” She said. “Feminism is not my focus.”

Read the full story at New York.

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