13 originals. This is a documentary series about Traci Lords who entered the porn industry at age 15 and left at age 18. There are some who view this as the story of a young girl who has taken advantage of by a brutal industry. There are others who view this as the story of a smart and resourceful young woman who, armed with a legitimate I.D., nearly took down that industry as well as the people in it. There are still others who view this as the story of the unlikeliest feminist icons.
All views will be discussed. These are real life events. These are real people being interviewed. This podcast contains adult themes and graphic language. Listener discretion is advised. Hi, I'm Tracy. I'll tell you about before there were sex tapes, there were sex tapes. Before there was Paris or Kim. There was Tracy. The first, the best. The Oji hardcore since eighty four. The name Tracy Lord.
Do you like it? Why are you. We are in the mid 1980s porn world. Traci Lords reigns supreme. Tracy was like, you know, the Queen. No one questioned her right to sovereignty and she just smelled like sex and looked like sex. She was fun to watch. Selkie gorgeous, attuned to the call of the wild and unabashedly nasty.
She was so sexually aggressive. Well, my God, what a swagger. She was even more fun to listen to her bloody murder screams of ecstasy as emblematic of the decade as Tom Cruise's sea to shining sea smile.
Only, it turns out, the biggest star, an adult, wasn't one. As the world would discover in July 1986 when the FBI busted down her door.
A young woman widely publicized under the name of Traci Lords may legally be just a child.
Traci Lords was really Nora Kuzma, who entered the adult industry as a 15 year old high school sophomore with a bogus I.D., they say in the straight world.
It's where were you when JFK got shot in the adult world? It's where were you when you found out Traci Lords was under age?
As sure as two plus two is four or that fifteen. I'll get you 20. The adult industry was in trouble deep. All of a sudden were kiddie porn people. Any adult industry was going to pay. I mean, in one fell swoop, virtually everybody could have been jailed. Everything could have been seized. All existing stocks of material could have been forfeited and just eliminated from the cultural scene.
Several of its key players were led off in handcuffs when the cops came in. Boy, if you had been there, you would have thought I was Al Capone being arrested.
Several other of its key players were let off in straight jackets. One man went and had to stay in an asylum for a while. I mean, he had based a huge part of his career on Tracy and invested so much time and energy into her. They had to lock him up for a while.
But a lucky few went broke. I remember hearing from a lot of the producers and owners of video company, we've got to destroy the stuff. We've got to get rid of everything.
So there was a lot of money lost, a lot of money, and one or two barely made it out alive.
He calls me back and he says, Traci Lords has turned me and they're going to put me in jail. If you don't give me five thousand dollars, I'm going to come over there and murder your family. These are the known and neutral facts of the case, and I do mean case, because the Traci Lords story is above all else, a mystery, one that's never been solved. I'm Lilliana, and this is Once Upon a Time in the Valley featuring Ashley West.
OK. Before we get started, Ashley, I think you should say hi. So people know that you're not a girl. Hello, everyone. No, not a girl. Now, they know you're not an American either. All right. Since this is the Tracy Leard story, we should probably give Tracy first crack at telling it. She's told it in her many interviews and talk show appearances also and primarily in her 2003 memoir. Underneath It All.
What do you think, Ashley? I don't know. The adult industry wants to tell the Tracy love story just as much, is foaming at the mouth to tell. It's in fact, and you could argue that the Tracy Lorde story is an adult industry story and therefore the adult industry deserves first crack at this. Tracy gets first crack. The adult industry gets last word. All right. I'll do my best to hold the porn people back, but you and Tracy better make it snappy.
You got it. OK, here goes part one little girl lost and found Tracy.
Elizabeth Lards is born Nora Louise Kozma on May 7th, 1968 in Steubenville, Ohio. Steubenville is a steel town on the Ohio River, about 30 miles outside Pittsburgh. Her father, Lewis, Ukrainian, American and Jewish, is a steel worker.
Her mother, Patricia, only a teenager when she meets Lewis, works in a jewelry store. It's a common law marriage and not a good one. This is Tracy.
I don't think that my dad was a bad man necessarily. I think that he was someone that lost his dream. Somebody that took to the bottle. You know, he drank a lot and he was somebody that was very angry, that had a really violent temper.
Patricia lives Lewis when Tracy is seven. Taking Tracy and Tracy three sisters with her, though Patricia is separated from Lewis. He still beats her. This is Tracy from underneath it all. Only it's Ashley as Tracy. He's reading from Tracy's memoir. So Tracy's words, Ashley's voice. Dad had heard a rumor that mom had a new boyfriend, a black man named Howard. Dad was livid. From across the street. We saw him punch him in the face several times.
The blood stream down her neck as I stood screaming in Granny's bedroom window upstairs.
My father took off in his red Ford truck, leaving mom stunned and bleeding on the sidewalk. I begged her not to die. Life with Patricia is hard scrabble. There's never enough money. Sometimes there's not even enough food. My mom was going to school.
My father split. He wasn't paying child support. So she was going to school for eight hours, working for 10:00. She was never there is 18 hours that she wasn't there. A kid can have a lot of freedom in 18 hours. Too much freedom. As it turns out, Tracy befriends an older boy whom she'll call Ricky in her memoir.
Tracy is 10. Ricky 16. This is Ashley. As Tracy reading from Tracy's memoir. Underneath it all, again, Tracy's words. Ashley voice. Ricky looks young for 16, and he wasn't much taller than I was. He told me how the girls at school were constantly mean to him and how bad it made him feel. But none of that mattered anymore because now he had me two hearts all over my notebook, a school. I love Ricky.
I love Ricky. I love Ricky. I was bursting to tell my sisters. But he made me promise to wait for special time. So I kept my secret. One afternoon, Tracy is lying in a field, making grass angels waiting for Regie. She falls asleep. When I woke up, Ruki was stroking my hair. He told me I was beautiful as he started unbuttoning my blouse. I was in a trance, but I blocked his fingers and told him to stop.
A flash of anger passed over his face. I tried to get up, but he pushed me back down. This is what you asked for. He whispered in my ear when he entered me. I screamed until I couldn't scream anymore.
Ricky leaves Tracy in the field bloody and naked. She stays there until dark. When someone violates your trust, what that does to a child. I think it's so destructive because I had all of this sexual energy thrown toward me, I didn't really know what to do with it. And then, you know, a very traumatic experience of being raped as a child. I took on that shame for so long and thought that it really was all my fault.
Tracy tells no one. When Tracey is 11, Patricia meets the man Tracey will call Roger Hayes in her memoir. Roger drove a big lime green van that reminded me of the Green Hornet. He was prematurely balding with a yellowish long beard. My dad referred to him as the fat hippie, but he wasn't really fat. He just had a bit of a paunch from eating too many hobos. Patricia begins spending less time at the house with her girls, more time in the lime green hippie van with Roger.
At first, Tracy is wary of Roger and a little disgusted by him. His jokes are dumb. Sometimes he braids his beard, but he's nice and there's a hole in her life for her dad. Lewis used to be. Roger begins to fill that hole. Well, she was sweet kinds and helpful. He took us out for burgers after school. Bobby, new clothes. And was always willing to drive me to where I needed to go. I began to see Roger as a provider, which was something we all desperately needed.
I slowly began to let my guard down and trust him. Roger even takes Tracy and her mom and sisters on a trip to Key West. I awoke from a deep sleep, feeling cold. I sat up realizing my tube top was pulled all the way down, exposing my breasts. I didn't know what time it was or where we were. Roger was right over me zipping up his pants after a moment. He turned away. Tracy isn't quite sheriff.
What just happened, happened. I was thinking I was crazy because during the day he acted so normal and he was so just supportive and lovely and I really question myself. Again, Tracy tells no one. Roger lands an engineering job in Southern California. He lights out for the coast two months later. Patricia and her daughters follow him boarding a Greyhound bus with their meager belongings. Tracy is glad to see Stephenville in the rearview mirror. I think that there is a sickness in that city.
Most of Ohio calls Steubenville stupid ville because there is a lot of alcohol. There is just a lack of regard for women. Goodbye, stupid ville. Hello, Surf City, USA. Tracy's new home, Redondo Beach, is a little coastal town on the Santa Monica Bay, just south of Los Angeles. No more snow or Sutcliff air or flatulent factories. Gray faced people. Now it's palm trees and blue skies and rolling surf Sunkist. Boys and girls as far as the eye can see.
Tracy loves it right away. And yet life is far from perfect. Money is still tight. And Roger well, Roger is still Roger.
Lajo is coming into my room at night. One night, almost fallen asleep when in my groggy state, I saw Rogers face hovering above me. At first, I thought I was dreaming, but when I sat up, I could feel his fingers inside me. I started sleeping in layers of clothes in the sweltering heat of summer. My mother said something about my bedroom light always being on. She thought I was afraid of the monster under my bed. But actually, I was afraid of the monster in hers.
So as a child growing up, I had this, you know, sexual abuse that was really violent. I had these thoughts in my head of, you know, this is what girls are for. This is what this is about. And then I had my mother's boyfriend, who I loved and trusted, you know, really betray me and start molesting me in my sleep and made me think I was even crazier. And yet Tracey is attached to Roger.
It bothers her that he and Patricia are fighting. Mom and Roger were on the rocks. She demanded he stop using drugs. She's referring to cocaine, which Roger had started using and selling on a regular basis. Tracy is afraid that if Roger and Patricia break up, it's back to stupid ville. So she starts taking Roger side in his arguments with Patricia. And when Patricia finally fed up with Roger leaves him, Tracy refuses to go with her. Tracy and her older sister Lorraine decide they're better off sticking with Roger.
I knew Roger was selling drugs and I still had anxiety about being touched in my sleep. But I also knew he was all we had. He'd been taking care of Lorraine and me for a while now. And that was more than I could say for my mother. We had no place else to go. I definitely wasn't normal. I mean, I was very rebellious. I was very hurt in a lot of ways. I had all the classic symptoms of a not so stable home run.
Very rebellious, except sexually. Sexually. Tracy is rather conservative. My first love was Dean Weatherley, a senior at Redondo High. I fell for him fast. He liked all the things I did. And we spent the entire summer drifting in the ocean. Lying on the beach and listening to our boombox. I could lay there for hours kissing and holding him. It was the next step that scared me. I'd be assaulted with images of Ricky in the field.
But all our friends were having sex except Dean and me. He was losing patience with my excuses and I was worried I'd lose him. Tracy is a sophomore. She finally overcomes her fears and has the first consensual sexual experience ever life. It happens when Tracy and Dean's one year anniversary. He kissed me sweetly. We had sex and it wasn't nearly as awful as the first time. He was gentle and it didn't go on for very long. I found out I was pregnant just after my 15th birthday.
Completely freaked out. I waited for Dean outside his shop class and broke the news to him there without saying one word to me. He turned around and walked away. My heart sank. Ditching class for the rest of the day to try to figure out what I was going to do and walking all the way across town to Rogers, he was the only adult I knew beside my mother and I wasn't talking to her. As much as Tracy wants to keep the baby, she realizes that there's no way she can.
Especially now that Dean is avoiding her at school and no longer returning her phone calls. Roger drives her to the clinic. She's been teetering on the edge for a while. The abortion pushes her over. It just kind of finish me off.
It made me so, Kayode, that I felt really worthless. I mean, the rape set me up because I was so destroyed over that guilt, shame, embarrassment. You take that all on and it's something that's really incredibly hard to let go of.
Tracy redoubled her efforts to find a job, but she's so young. Few places are willing to hire her again. It's Roger to the rescue. He introduces her to a friend of his, a young mother named Christy. Christy gives her birth certificate to Tracy. The next morning, Tracy cuts school and heads to the DMV. She enters Nora Louise Kuzma age 15. She exits. Christy Elizabeth Nuzman, age 21. Well, I'd gotten a fake I.D. mainly to get a job as a waitress, just some sort of employment, I was really desperate and I answered an ad in the newspaper for models and I was very naive.
And I believe I didn't know what figure modelling was. I thought, OK, swimsuits. Tracy tells Roger. Her trusted confidante and adviser about her upcoming interview with a modeling agent. She calls Tim North in her memoir. Roger was my chauffeur for the day, and I excitedly showed him all the outside answered. He seemed impressed with my plans, so I continued to rattle on about my conversation with Mr. North. The modelling agent wrote, you wanted to know what kind of modelling it was.
I told him it was called figure modelling. He looked at me strangely, then just smiled. Roger, of course, knows what a figure model is, but he doesn't let Tracy know. Instead, he takes you to that interview like he's taking a lamb to the slaughter. HBO is next must watch series. Perry Mason stars Emmy winner Matthew Reese and an origin story for American fiction's most legendary criminal defense lawyer. Catch up on the series. The Washington Post calls superb and Vanity Fair Louds as engrossing and unpredictable set in 1930s L.A..
Mason finds that uncovering the truth means exposing a city full of corruption. And everybody is guilty. Co starring fellow Emmy winners Tatiana Maslany and John Lithgow. Perry Mason airs Sundays at 9:00 p.m. on HBO and stream it on HBO Max. The agent, Tim Norris, a cowboy looking guy with a bandito mustache, a gold tooth and an oily manner, gives Tracy the creeps. She likes what he has to say, though, breaking out a bottle of champagne.
He tells her he's going to make her a star. He also says he's going to need topless photos. Mr North snapped at me impatiently. If you're really serious about modelling, you're going to have to get used to nudity. Now, I'm a very busy man, so if you could please go change. I'd appreciate it. How about another glass of champagne? One alive. Tracy and Roger go into a back room to confer. She's alarmed and wants to leave.
He talks her into staying.
Roger convinced me that, hey, Marilyn Monroe started out doing nudes. This is the way it works.
North is frustrated that Tracy has not yet undressed, urging her to relax. He exits the dressing area, leaving a little something behind. When he and Roger left, I snorted a line of white powder. North called Coke from a mirror. He left. I'd never snorted Coke before. And it gave me a weird, jittery burst of energy. Suddenly, I felt charged. Brave. North seems pleased with the Polaroids he's taken as Tracy is walking out the door.
He casually, almost as an afterthought, asks her for proof of age. It was a time, I think, in porn in the early 80s.
This was eighty four that this happened where, you know, you said you were old enough. People kind of went, yeah, okay, sure.
After this encounter with North, Tracy might easily have felt deceived by Roger. She might even have started to pull away from him. Only she didn't. He was there to provide rides and do this. And, you know, it was a secret between us for a long time. He got off on it. But I had this relationship and this obsessiveness that a lot of people that are victims have with their victimizer. It's just. Yeah, that's what that was.
Roger playing chauffeur yet again takes Tracy to her very first job for a magazine called Velvet. Tracy thinks Velvet is a clothing store. Roger doesn't disabuse her, though. She figures out for herself what Velvet is when her outfit for the shoot is Bobby Socks and spiked heels. Nothing else. I spread my legs and caressed my breasts to a dreamy fog. I spotted Roger sitting in the corner of the studio. His hand buried beneath his coat. Watching me, disgusted by the thought of my honourees stepfather doing such a thing.
I avoided his gaze when we finished the shoot. I dressed quickly. I felt unsettled by the afternoon's events. I'd been turned on by the attention I'd received. And now it confused me. I became flooded with shame. The attention proves as powerful a drug as the cocaine. And maybe even more addictive. I really felt important by the attention and wouldn't do anything to keep it. And I really did feel important in that world.
I felt more powerful. I felt like for the first time in my life, I had control.
Soon, Tracey is leading a double life by day. She's a sophomore at Redondo Union High. But at night after school and on weekends, she gets naked for the camera for money. I naively really believed at fifteen. Well, maybe no one will notice. You know, my mother doesn't watch this stuff. I've never seen this before. Has anyone ever find out? Pretty easily. As it turns out, Tracy is at school. It's lunchtime when a football player swaggers up to her table, throws down a magazine.
It was me spread eagled in a really sleazy skin magazine. I ran out of the cafeteria and off campus. My heart pumped in my throat. I thought, oh, my God, everyone in school knows. Someone might tell my sisters, my mother, I can't go home. I can't go back to school. What am I going to do? What have I done? At 15, Tracy is a high school dropout and a runaway. But Tim North has good news for her.
She's been chosen as a centerfold for the September issue of Penthouse in the nude modeling world. She's hit the big time. It's in Penthouse that Nora Kuzma now Christy Nessman becomes Tracy Lawrence christening herself after the actor Jack Lord Star of Hawaii five oh. It was exactly that thing of you know I'm going to do whatever I want. And that branding this and that kind of rage mixed with somebody stop me. Tracy had that first hint of cocaine at Tim Knauss office.
It fast becomes a habit, as do loser abusive boyfriends. But at least the loser, abusive boyfriends get Roger out of the picture.
Drugs do give you a certain amount of numbness. And I think that that was absolutely what I was looking for. It was a way to escape. The reality that I was in, in my reality, wasn't all that pretty. Tracy, in fact, is so far outside of reality that she doesn't even notice when at 16 she goes from nude model to porn actress, though her not noticing is kind of the point. It was never intentional. I never set out to be a porn star.
I was stoned. I was on a set. I was supposed to be a girl in a bikini walking around the pool. And I got high enough. A guy hit on me and it was a filmed thing. And that was the beginning of my career in that world. Tracy goes into a bit more detail in her memoir before arriving on set that day. She stops at a liquor store for vodka. Her part is clothed non sex, and all she have to do is deliver a single line.
She delivers it and is free to leave before she does. She stops in the kitchen. As I poured myself a vodka this third of the moment. Tom Biron walked in and started flirting with me. But he had this sweet, dopey puppy dog thing going on and I let my guard down. I was wasted by that point. And since then, I've often wondered if he'd been sent into the kitchen to seduce me or if he just got lucky.
I'm still not sure why I let him have his way with me. I don't know what I was thinking. All I can say is I never intended to be filmed having sex in that kitchen and I only realized I was being filmed when it was nearly over. Tracy thought she'd met a guy that she liked him and that they were sharing a private moment only to discover that it was as public as public can be. Her consent wasn't asked for. Never mind given.
But instead of getting upset, getting wounded, getting weepy, Tracy gets savage. The profession that was in a sense forced on her. She flips on its back, makes beg for mercy, and almost as soon as she enters the business, she takes it over, becoming its top performer. For me, porn was about my pain and my life as a child, and I was completely acting out. I was a wild kid. I was angry at the world and I was very rebellious.
And I wanted to show everybody. It was never about being turned on when it was about was venting. It was about rage. It was about release. It was about, you know, a kid getting off on power. If anything, that's what it was about.
And then Tracy is on the set of a movie. It's between scenes night, and she's just chase the last of her downers with a slug of tequila. Lonely. She joins two extras, a man and a woman in a swimming pool. She has sex with them. So if my poolside threesome spread through the porn world like wildfire, making me even more sought after in porn films.
I was thought of as insatiable. But it wasn't that I couldn't get enough on screen. It was that I got nothing. I was releasing the garbage that polluted my minds. The only way I knew how. For Tracy, sex and anger have become one and the same. As good as she is at what she does, though, Tracy can't bear doing it.
She uses drugs to dissociate herself. Her cocaine habit hardens into a cocaine addiction. She's a hamster on a wheel making the movies to get the money to pay for the drugs so she can make the movies. It progressively just went so quickly downhill. 1984. Into 1985. She meets the man she calls Scott Bell. In her memoir. Scott is in his 30s soap opera, handsome, with Hollywood connections and a wedding ring. He slips off his finger when he thinks she's not looking.
Scott takes Tracy to dinner and makes a proposal. I listened as Dell made his pitch. He said that he had an investor who would bankroll a film production company. He would produce three X rated films starring me. He would write and direct.
All Tracey has to do is say yes. Tracy says now she wants to get out of porn, not deeper in. When she returns to her apartment, though, she finds an eviction notice on the door and her boyfriend inside naked, strung out and watching a televangelist on TV. He beat her up before passing out in his own vomit. Later that night, I called Scott from a dingy bar in Hermosa Beach, crying hysterically. I told him I'd do whatever he asked me to do, pleading with him to just come and get me.
I felt like I was making a deal with the devil at night. But at the time it seemed like the only thing I could do for Allah. TLC, the Traci Lords company is formed. It has Tracey's name, obviously, but at Scott's baby, and she lets him handle it. All she asks is to be kept in as much coke as she can snored. Soon she and Scott are involved romantically as well as professionally. Once again, my life became a constant blur of sex and drugs.
Scott quickly took on the role of business partner, boyfriend and pimp to the porn industry. I was achingly sad. I just couldn't fathom Scott's willingness to direct me in explicit sex movies if he really loved me. He banged on my dressing room door and someone me to work. I downed a glass of vodka as my love led me onto the set. My eyes met his as I unbuttoned the strangest pants and his smiling face dug deep into my heart as he watched from behind the camera and motioned me to continue.
1985 and into 1986. And then something finally cut through the blur.
The FBI, they broke down my front door, was there early in the morning. I thought I was stoned on cocaine. I thought that, you know, there was an earthquake or something.
It's July 1986. Two months earlier in May, nineteen eighty six. Two things that happened. Tracy had turned 18 and Tracy had made the third of the three X rated movies. She was supposed to make with Scott and the Tracy Lawrence Company. That third movie was called Tracy, I Love You. And it was shot in France. When the FBI pays its unexpected visit, she's in his dark place as she's ever been. I was extremely suicidal when the FBI actually raided their apartment.
I was 90 pounds and I'm five foot seven. So, I mean, I was pretty much wasting away.
Tracy is handcuffed, dragged from her apartment complex and shoved into the back of an unmarked car. They took me downtown to the federal building and they questioned me. I was wearing a long shirt and nothing else and bare feet. And I was taken up this freight elevator in the federal building. It feels to Tracy like a kidnapping. She's dazed, frightened and crashing from the Coke. She's sure this is a drug bust, but her certainty is misplaced. It isn't about the drugs.
It's about the underage movie. Even when she understands this, though, she doesn't understand this.
I didn't get wet. Everything was happening. My brain was pretty mushy. And I thought, why now? Why would they be trying to help me stop me now? Why, after three years, does anybody even care?
Especially since now she's of age. It doesn't make any sense. But that's what these men want to grill her about. They keep popping x rated tapes in the VCR, asking her, is this you? Is this you? Is this you? The good thing in her memory of the past three years is hazy because of the drugs. The bad thing is her memory of the past three years is hazy because of the drugs.
I think the best way to describe it is like a three year hangover. You're there and you're there, but you're not really like, crystal clear, aware of the things that I remember enough.
Not enough for the FBI man, though. Not nearly enough.
I was in a room with living men who seemed to be getting off of my hysteria. I told the FBI nothing. I knew nothing. I didn't know who had produced which. Phil had to rely on the porn box covers answers. I didn't understand why, but they were really annoyed that I didn't have personal relationships with these people. I didn't even know who they were. One phrase pops up again and again, Edwin Meese. The name rings the vaguest of bells.
Edwin Meese is the attorney general under President Reagan, forcing herself to concentrate. Tracy dredges up a memory some kind of commission had been formed. The Meese commission had been causing the porn industry a headache for a while now. But so what? Which is Mease and his commission had to do with her. And then she notices that there's another phrase, it's getting a lot of play. Child pornography. That's what these men seem to think they're rescuing her from.
Well, they were a little late.
I was really angry and I was really at the end of my rope and I didn't see them as my saviors at the time. I was really Malfi. And they said, I'm here to save you. I said, well, what took you so long?
It sounds like a rhetorical question. It isn't. Tracey's been informed that she's part of a sting operation connected to this man, Meece, the Traci Lords case. They tell her is three years old. She realizes that she's not being saved, that she's being used again. They want her as the face of the administration's task force on child pornography.
Fuck you people I spot. You're not here to help me. You just want your piece exploited by the porn industry. Now, it seems also exploited by the government, but the FBI hasn't arrested Tracey. They've just brought her in for questioning. She's free to go and does. It's out of the frying pan into the fire. The FBI knows her secret. And now it seems so did the entire universe. Suddenly, it feels like everybody is after her.
Cops, lawyers, the media, wolf pack licking its fangs and in full cry. She certainly can't go to former colleague in the adult industry for comfort. They're so frenzied with rage for the trouble she's causing them that they start to say that it's she herself who tipped off the FBI.
There was this whole theory about what maybe she turned herself in and which is ridiculous. No, I did not. Tracy doesn't know who turned her in, though she has her suspicions. She believes it was Roger Haynes not because he felt guilty, wanted to help get her out of the trouble he'd gotten her into, but because he was in trouble of his own. I think that, you know, he was given some sort of a deal or something, I think was ultimately him that pulled the plug on it.
I think that I had a lot to do with drugs was selling drugs. Newly sober and determined to stay that way. Tracy shakily assesses her situation. She doesn't know who to go to. Which way to turn? I mean, the lines between who the good guys here. Is it the FBI that waited three years? OK, maybe they were gathering evidence. Is it the newspeople that are saying this poor victim and then putting pictures, me half naked of the victim re victimizing me?
Is it you know, these pornographers that are saying, well, she lied to us? Well, yeah, I lied to them. But then they went and sold the tapes for three times as much money. Was hard for me to tell what was what. What's more, she's broke. People have said that I've done hundreds of movies and things. That's not true. They were all copulations. There were maybe 20 films over three years. As if that's not enough.
There's this whole myth about how I became the highest paid woman in that industry and that, you know, I had plotted to do all of this. But, you know, I'd have made a lot of money in that business and everything was paid in cash. And it was something that was really hard for me to explain to the IRS. Years after the fact that the whole three year period, you know, I maybe made forty thousand dollars or something.
Tracey's hit Rock Bottom to survive. She signs over the rights to Tracy, I love you. The only adult film she made when she was 18. I had two very clear choices. Get on with living or die. I chose to live. I started climbing out of the hell I'd been sentenced to years before at the hands of paedophiles. Yes, my life was a mess, but I was still standing. I was the one who got away and I was going to make it all count.
So I did what I thought best. I sold the fucking movie for a period of 10 years and with it bought myself some shelter from the storm. But things are about to start looking up. Tracy enters therapy and she comes to the realization that it's the porn business she wants to get out of, not show business. She decides to become a mainstream actress. It's a major moment for Tracy. She knows who and what she is and she's on her way.
There will be obstacles to overcome, prejudices to push past the people who look at her and only see a former sex queen. But she's determined, defiant. And in 1988, two short years after she starred in her last pornographic movie, she stars in her first non pornographic movie, the sci fi horror comedy Not of this Earth. And perhaps even more vitally, Tracy uses what happened to her to help others by involving herself and Children of the Night.
An organization dedicated to rescuing children and young adults from a life of prostitution. Tracy Lards doesn't want there to be another Tracy Lords.
Hi, I'm Traci Lords. When I first came to Hollywood, I had a lot to learn, but nobody could tell me that because I thought I knew it all. So I ended up alone on the streets. But you don't have two children of that helps sexually exploited kids. It puts them into drug programs, helps them get ideas and jobs. So call them right now. Tracy has made peace with her past. Well, Tracy hasn't made peace with all of her past.
She hasn't made peace with Roger Hayes and what he did to her. He's probably one of the only people that I have found it really incredibly difficult to forgive because he did so much. And he was never punished for that. And I thought that that was really incredibly unfair. I still have fantasies about running into him in the dark heavily.
And there you have it. That's the end of part one little girl lost and found. Or the Tracy Lord story as told by Tracy Lords. So, Ashley, at the top of this episode, I said these are the known and neutral facts of the case.
Yes, but there were always unknown facts. And it's one effects of it being neutral or even facts. After all, one person's fact is another person's fiction. Tracy took the facts and constructed a story out of them. It's not a mystery. It's a cautionary tale cum survival guide about a naive young girl who is plied with drugs and preyed upon by the scuzz ball men running the porn biz. Until at last, she's rescued not by the federal government, but by her older, wiser self.
It's Little Red Riding Hood, as told by Little Red Riding Hood. In short, it's the Tracy Leard story. As told by Traci Lords, the adult industry has also taken the facts and constructed a story, and their story is in a different genre entirely. It's not quite a mystery either, though. It's closer to one. It's a real life porno noir thriller about a sly eyed and Kutty who runs a scam on the adult industry. Turning every man in it, every woman to into an unwitting predator and pervert, then brings those predators and perverts to their creaking knees.
It's Little Red Riding Hood as told by the big bad wolf. In short, it's the Tracey Leard story, as told by the adult industry. And the adult industry is dying to tell it.
Next time on Once Upon a Time in the Valley, the adult industry gets its chance.
I thought Tracey was fucking phenomenal. She just owned those sets. I'll never forget. Nineteen, 1985. She said to me, Christy, don't ever let them use you. Don't ever be a fuck doll.
This has been a presentation of C 13 originals, a division of Caden's 13 executive produced by Chris Corcoran and me, Billy Alec, directed by Zach Levitt, created and written by me. Produced by Ashley West. Edited and mastered by Chris Fasal. Bill Schulz, Perry Prowl and Ian Mount. Theme Music and Original Score by John Goodman. Production Engineering. Incoordination by Sean Cherry and Terence Melun. Bone Field Recording by Rich Burner Artwork Marketing and PR by Kurt Courtney, Josephine Francis and Hilary Chef.
Once upon a Time in the Valley is hosted by me and Ashley West. Thanks for listening.