James Deen has finally spoken up against the sexual assault allegations piling up against him.
In an with the Daily Beast’s Aurora Snow — herself a former adult film star — the man once billed as the “nice Jewish boy” of porn denied that he sexually assaulted any of the women who have publicly accused him.
“I can safely say that did not happen,” he said of ex-girlfriend Stoya’s claim that he held her down and had sex with her against her will. “All of the accusations are from either ex-girlfriends or events that happened on set. I always try to take responsibility for my actions and apologize when needed. As far as these other claims, at a certain point I feel like people have to step back and analyze this stuff in context. Most of these are descriptions of things on BDSM or rough sex sets.”
“When I am on set I am under instruction of the company who is paying me,” Deen added. “I could describe the events of the scene I was in the other day and it could be just as dramatic. I have no desire to blame people who consider themselves victims or throw stones. I will just say this: my job as a performer for rough sex companies is to engage in certain acts. If at any point I pushed boundaries past the point of comfort, I am sorry. I have always tried to respect peoples’ limits and safe words and operated within that space. If someone expressed anything to me I honored the request with the fullest care.”
Nine women so far have accused Deen of sexual assault, including several former ex-girlfriends and adult film stars. At least two porn studios have cut ties with the 29-year-old, who has resigned as chairperson of the board of directors of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee.
Snow, who pointed out at the outset that she has only had positive interactions with Deen in the past, grilled him on his definition of consent, the environments on porn sets, and his version of the alleged events.
Deen, who repeatedly pointed out in the interview that he has “never claimed to be a ‘feminist’ or ‘the boy next door,’” has been known to make light of rape in jokes posted to his Twitter account. When asked by Snow if he has any regrets, his answer was simple: No.
“I think that finding humor in horror is a coping mechanism I use to accept that terrible things happen in the world,” he explained. “It doesn’t mean I condone negative behavior. I have always had a dark sense of humor as I think a lot of people in my circle do as well—dead baby jokes, Holocaust jokes, rape jokes, no arm/no legs jokes, racist jokes. I don’t condone prejudice. I operate outside of the overly-PC public world we live in. I’m not PC. But making a rape joke does not make one a rapist.”
To read James Deen’s comments in full, head over to The Daily Beast.
Anne Cohen was the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg , she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.
James Deen Breaks Silence — Denies Rape Claims