In an interview with The Guardian’s Melissa Gira Grant, porn star Stoya spoke for the first time about her allegation that she was raped by her ex-boyfriend James Deen, which Deen denies.
Stoya’s comments are part of a larger piece which argues that fixing the issue of sexual assault in porn must first start with fixing it in society at large. It includes interviews from others in the sex work community, like Sydney Leathers and Connor Habib.
Stoya clarifies to Gira Grant that she tweeted her comments about Deen while in Serbia working on “a narrative, non-porn film” in which her character is raped.
“I couldn’t bear the thought any more,” Stoya said, “that there might be something terrible happening to yet another woman at his hands, or more likely, at his cock, that she didn’t want, because I kept quiet. I just … I couldn’t, I couldn’t.”
Stoya also clarified what was implied in her brief original statement: that Deen allegedly raped her not on a film set, but during their personal time. “It took me months and months and months,” she told The Guardian, “over a year of months to be able to be able to call it what it was – which was rape.”
Additionally, she explained why she chose to write tweets instead of sharing her story on other platforms.
She chose Twitter “because that’s where the record needed to be updated”. On Twitter and on Tumblr, she would still see posts from fans: “James and Stoya #relationshipgoals! That frightens me. That’s also something I don’t have any more control over than I have over what happened after I posted that tweet.”
“If I don’t say it now, then, when am I?” she went on to say. “Am I just going to carry it around for the rest of my life and keep it secret? Because secrets aren’t really a thing that I do.”
The list of women who have accused Deen of varying acts of violence and inappropriate behavior is now up to nine, and—as many have pointed out—Stoya’s comments continue to have a ripple effect in and outside of the industry.
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