4 BBW Porn Stars Sue L.A.'s Adultcon
The suit filed last week at Los Angeles Superior Court involves BBW porn stars Desiree Devine, Subrina Love, Chocolate Nights and Farrah Foxx, who each claim they were unable to market their personas, as well as sell their DVDs, at the show held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The suit alleges that Adultcon and its operator, Renaud West, as well as unnamed parties, intentionally discriminated against the four women because of their “weight, obesity and physical appearance.”
Adultcon, which hosts two porn star conventions in spring and fall at the Los Angeles Convention Center, is planning its next show later this month.
The show is billed as “where fans go to buy autographs, photos, DVDs and products and meet the porn stars of tomorrow as well as the mega stars of today.”
It attracts thousands of porn fans — mostly male — who pay $35 admission and are offered the opportunity to meet talent up-close and personal in a 60,000-square-feet hall. The show does not allow nudity, but porn stars usually expose copious amounts of skin and use pasties to cover areolas.
Devine, whose real name is Rustie Jouni, told XBIZ last December that she and the other women were “heartbroken” and “embarrassed” that they were not allowed in to the show.
She said that despite the fact that the BBW porn stars completed forms and paid admissions to enroll as exhibitors, they received a letter “that was full of shock.”
According to the suit, Adultcon sent correspondence to the women just days before the December show indicating that the denial of their booth space was based on its contractual policies, as well as a policy on its website that states, “We reserve the right to deny booth space to any person, who in our opinion, is disproportionate in weight in relation to their height.”
“I was very excited about exhibiting at Adultcon, and I spent a lot of money out of pocket getting ready for the event, including the $200 booth fee,” said Devine, who noted that she also planned on DVDs, T-shirts, posters and photographs specially manufactured for the show.
Devine, who is six-foot and measures 54-44-62, has filmed a half-dozen DVDs, including “Waist Watchers 4,” “Big Lovin 6” and “Whale Watching 3.” She also operates the paysite DesireeDivine.com and a fan club.
The suit said that as a result of Adultcon’s discriminatory practices, the plaintiffs were unable to attend Adultcon as exhibors and were unable to sell any merchandise at Adultcon.
“The conduct of defendants was outrageous and beyond the bounds of decency such that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it," the suit said. "Plaintiffs were forced to endure ongoing mental anguish, shock, humiliation, feelings of hopelessness and desperation.”
Adult industry attorney Michael Fattorosi is the lawyer who represents the women.
His filing at Los Angeles Superior Court focuses on violations of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which reads: "All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status or sexual orientation are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever."
Fattorosi contends that the Unruh Act has been applied numerous times based upon physical characteristics.
“The law is very broad and includes cases like these,” Fattorosi told XBIZ. “For example, there have been cases based on the length of hair that have been upheld by the Unruh Act.”
West, who operates Adultcon and parent company Live Entertainment, first heard of the suit when XBIZ called for comment, although rumors of the possible legal action have been swirling throughout the industry since December.
Later, he told XBIZ, “Our company policy has always been to vigorously defend against any and all lawsuits.”
“We would look forward to litigating the case in court and not on websites or in the adult industry publications,” West said. “On the other hand, we appreciate the publicity, especially this far in advance of Adultcon.”
Fattorosi said that much will be learned through discovery about Adultcon’s arrangement with the Los Angeles Convention Center, which possibly could be named to the suit.
“I don’t know what their contractual obligation is; I don’t even know if they have proper insurance,” he said.
Los Angeles Convention Center chief spokesman Felix Hernandez did not respond to several inquires regarding the complex’s discrimination policies.
Adultcon’s next show — its 16th — is slated for March 20-22 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The suit seeks general and special damages, as well as attorneys fees.