Burns Takes Stand at Wentworth Trial
LOS ANGELES — Donald Burns, the multimillionaire MagicJack exec who is said to be the victim of an extortion plot involving gay porn performer Jarec Wentworth, took the stand Tuesday and said he paid the adult star $1,500 to $2,500 each time he referred other porn stars and models for sexual encounters.
Burns continues his testimony in the Wentworth trial this morning at Los Angeles federal court in front of a 14-person jury, City News Service reported.
Wentworth is charged with extortion and making criminal threats after the FBI arrested him in a sting operation involving Burns. He’s accused of extorting $500,000 and an Audi R8 worth $180,000 from Burns by threatening to expose his sexual liaisons on Twitter.
During opening statements on Tuesday, a federal prosecutor said that Burns had a "taste for young men" and paid Wentworth and other gay porn performers and models to engage in sexual encounters, including group sex at a La Jolla, Calif., hotel.
The prosecutor told jurors that Burns flew out performers to and from the sexual trysts and offered referral fees to Wentworth, a current Men.com and former Sean Cody performer.
Burns said that, in addition to his relationship with Wentworth over referrals, he paid Wentworth four times to have sex with him. But the relationship soured when Wentworth failed to deliver a performer he had promised but refused to return Burns' money.
When Burns broke off the relationship, Wentworth threatened to expose on Twitter Burns’ predilection for “sex for pay,” telling the businessman in a text message that he could “bring your house down,” the prosecutor said.
In court Tuesday, it was disclosed that Burns, who resides in Florida, is worth $140 million.
Wentworth’s federal public defender said that Burns’ appetite for gay porn performers was narrowed after he emailed Wentworth a list of 11 Sean Cody performers and said that Burns suggested to Wentworth that he could earn about $200,000 if he delivered the referrals.
In rebuttal to the extortion charges, Wentworth’s attorney argued that Burns had given Wentworth the Audi and $500,000 because he "owed" him after their two-year relationship.
Burns’ “reputation was never threatened,” Wentworth’s attorney said. He “only asked for the money that was promised to him and was deserved.”
U.S. District Judge John F. Walter said the trial would likely conclude Thursday.