On Monday, Variety reported that filmmaker Maria Demopoulos filed a lawsuit alleging porn star James Deen undermined her latest documentary’s distribution deal with Showtime by taking signed releases from her producer’s office. Demopoulos’s film addresses multiple rape and assault allegations that were made against Deen in late 2015. Demopoulos claims she is owed $150,000 and accused Deen of fraud, conversion, and breach of fiduciary duty.
The suit alleges that Deen’s company, Seven Sins, hired Demopoulos to direct a documentary (the film’s subject matter is not clear, presumably it had something to do with Deen), which was set to air in mid-2016. Demopoulos had already shot lots of footage, conducted several interviews, and handed in a director’s cut, when sexual assault allegations began piling up against Deen in late 2015. At this point, the lawsuit alleges, Demopoulos decided to incorporate the allegations into her documentary, and interviewed several of Deen’s accusers, all of whom, she claims, signed releases.
A revised cut of the film was screened for producers, and Deen, on July 30, 2016. At the time, Deen only requested small changes, but a few months later he allegedly got a production assistant to somehow hand over the binder of release forms, without which the film can’t be aired on Showtime or shown at festivals. Demopoulos claims the the interaction between Deen and the production assistant, “was all captured on security footage.”
In November 2015, the prominent porn actor and writer Stoya publicly accused Deen, whom she had dated, of raping her. Soon after, about a dozen women came forward with their own accusations against Deen. Another of Deen’s ex-girlfriends Joanna Angel said in an interview with The Jason Ellis Show in December, 2015 that her relationship with Deen had been abusive and that his fans are “supporting a monster.” Despite the copious allegations, the adult video industry continues to honor Deen’s work.
Deen’s lawyer told the New York Daily News that his client is, “unaware of any complaint filed on this matter.” No further comment has been provided.