Dominatrix a Victim of Public’s Keen Interest in ‘Fifty Shades,’ Attorney Says
ORLANDO — The operator of a BDSM-training business in Orlando has become the victim of the public's keen interest in “Fifty Shades of Grey” after a local TV news program, acting on a tip of a dominatrix working from her home, whipped up a probe of her alleged home-based business.
Attorney Lawrence Walters, who represents Judith DeLucenay, the subject of a WKMG-TV news report, told XBIZ that because of the news segment put together during the opening weeks of the BDSM-themed mainstream movie, the dominatrix now is facing an investigation by Orlando and state police for an “unspecified criminal activity.”
“This is a prime example of how the media can whip the public up into a sex panic over nothing,” Walters said. “BDSM activity is not illegal, and our client categorically prohibits any sexual activity during sessions. The Constitution protects her right of privacy and her right to associate with anyone she so chooses, in the privacy of her own home.”
Mike DeForest, the WKMG reporter who worked on the DeLucenay story disclosing her business and address, said that the station acted on a tip from a nearby resident.
“The tipster claims to have alerted law enforcement and city code enforcement about Ms. DeLucenay’s website and the activity witnessed there,” DeForest told XBIZ. “The tipster was surprised the business appeared to still be in operation weeks later.”
DeForest, however, later provided details to the city on DeLucenay’s BDSM website, which includes BDSM activities in nature, including flogging, electrical stimulation and corporal punishment.
DeForest noted that the tipster said he initially offered the website address to the city with the complaint.
“As we reported in our story, the city confirmed such a business would not be allowed to operate in a residential area,” DeForest said.
For the segment, DeForest and his camera crew recently camped out across the street, waiting for her to appear for an interview. When she did, DeLucenay “was wearing shiny knee-high boots similar to ones that she wears in photographs posted on her dominatrix website,” the reporter said in the report.
The segment included interviews from local neighbors who, for the most part, expressed surprise of a BDSM business apparently operating on their street.
“With prior complaints to the city, code enforcement and law enforcement investigations underway, Ms. DeLucenay’s website detailing the type of business taking place in a residential area, and city officials confirming such a business would not be allowed in a residential area, we felt such a story would be in the public interest,” DeForest said.
As a result of the WKMG news piece, Orlando's code enforcement division and Central Florida's vice squad now have launched their own investigations into DeLucenay’s BDSM business, which apparently does not have a home occupational license.
Walters, however, said that the brouhaha over DeLucenay’s dominatrix entrepreneurship in Orlando is unfounded and that fears over the business haven’t been articulated.
“The story attempts to sensationalize private, consensual activities between adults by interviewing neighbors who wonder exactly what's going on in the house and who worry for their children,” Walters said.
Walters, on behalf of DeLucenay, said that he intends to take swift legal action if her business or privacy is further threatened.
“I suspect that this case will be the first of many, as the public struggles to understand the BDSM community, particularly in light of some of the inaccuracies depicted in the recent Hollywood film,” Walters said. “Fortunately, public comments to these stories have been overwhelmingly in favor of our client, and decidedly against the intrusion on her privacy.”