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Public Scandal: Public Apology

Saint QuoteLOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack’d anything.

‘A guest,’ I answer’d, ‘worthy to be here:’
Love said, ‘You shall be he.’
‘I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.’
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
‘Who made the eyes but I?’

‘Truth, Lord; but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.’
‘And know you not,’ says Love, ‘Who bore the blame?’
‘My dear, then I will serve.’
‘You must sit down,’ says Love, ‘and taste my meat.’
So I did sit and eat.

–George Herbert

A few months ago at the height of my popularity, I quietly stopped filming in the adult entertainment industry. I quietly deleted my Twitter account and my Facebook and Facebook Fan page. I stopped posting on my website and eventually had all the content removed. I quietly turned into myself, looking deeply and asking what I had done to my life.

A little less than a year ago, I began a short but intense career in the adult entertainment industry. There were lots of factors that lead me to that place at that time. Many of those factors I am only now beginning to understand. What is undeniable is that, despite the factors which contributed to that decision, that decision was my decision and I am responsible for having made it. I am responsible for the effects and consequences of my actions. I was not forced, coerced, or tricked into doing pornography. I was not economically destitute or without other options. I had low self-esteem, I was depressed, I felt I had nothing to lose and I did not fear or care about the consequences of my actions. My choice was arrogant and it was selfish. I hurt people as a result of the choice that I made. I hurt my family. I hurt my friends. I hurt my brothers and former colleagues in the police department in which I served and the religious order of which I was a member. I hurt the men with whom I filmed pornography through my participation in the industry and I hurt the countless people who have seen what I did and who will see it. I take full responsibility for my decision. I accept the consequences, both known and unknown, of my decision. With a contrite and broken heart I ask the mercy and forgiveness of those who were hurt by my involvement in the pornographic industry.

Pornography does violence to human spirit and, in its effort to display human sexuality openly, pornography perverts it. Pornography destroys families and relationships and lives. Far from being a victimless act, pornography victimizes every single human being involved. The victims of the adult entertainment industry are those who consume pornography and their families but also those involved in the production of pornography and, especially the models or actors.

100% of the actors in pornography are victims to varying degrees. The very young, the economically destitute, and the uneducated are victimized to a higher degree than men like me who made a more conscious choice, but everyone is harmed deeply by the experience and no one escapes the knife that cuts deeply the innate dignity of the human person.

One thing that I am grateful that I never did was to recruit someone into doing porn. There are “agents” who make a lot of money doing this. I want to speak for a moment to anyone reading this who might be interested in doing porn or who knows someone who may be. Many young men wrote to me during my time in the industry with the same basic question, “How do I get to be a porn star?” This was always my response:

“The best advice that I can give you about working in porn is not to do it… ever. Put the idea of your mind completely. Go to school or finish school and use your talents to do something useful. The porn industry will exploit you, it will chew you up and spit you out. You will be popular one day and a ‘has been’ the next day. The people in the industry aren´t necessarily bad but they are first and foremost concerned with making a profit and not with your wellbeing as a person. They will use you as much as they can when you are a new face, wear out your image, then toss you to the side when the next new face comes along. I’m being totally honest with you. Working in porn is hard for very little money. We are little more than prostitutes. The benefits are very few and the drawbacks are many. If there is anything else you can do in life– do that instead even if it means working at Starbucks or the GAP. You have to consider carefully all the doors porn will close for you and you must not overestimate the number it will open, for it is very few. Don´t think that you can do one or two scenes and then hide them. What is filmed and put on the internet is forever. It will also ruin your romantic life- everything becomes exponentially more complicated and having a truly healthy relationship that is fair and equal is almost impossible. Do something else. Do anything else. That´s my advice. I hope it helps you make a good decision.”

So I am on a very personal journey. It is a journey of reconciliation, forgiveness, and redemption. Anyone who has followed my career knows that I am a Catholic. As such, the path to reconciliation with God and with the Church is relatively clear: through the ministry of the Church God’s mercy is infinite and His love with without limit. Forgiving myself for what I have done and finding the humility and the words to seek the forgiveness of others is another, more difficult matter. Part of that journey will involve investigation how I lived 8 months of my life in absolute contradiction to who I know I really am. That investigation will likely involve writing about my experiences. In the meantime, here is a brief but good article on pornography for anyone interested:

Thank you for taking the time to read what I have written here today, for your support, and forgiveness.