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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 ID, nearly took down said industry as well as the people in it. There are still others who view this as the story of the unlikeliest of 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. Previously on Once Upon a Time in the Valley, Tracy is the porn star that burns the brightest on screen and off.
She loved sex. I remember walking and she was screwing the owner of the house and his friend somewhere. And I mean, you hardly ever saw her because she was always having sex. And the funny thing is, she never invited anyone. She was like, hey, Christy, let's go tag team. She didn't want to share that dick, you know. Oh, Tracy gets a new boyfriend. Oh, Stuart Taylor is the kind of guy that looked like he'd be hanging out at a nightclub, had that slick sort of Malibu beach guy look to him, seemed tanned and, you know, like he didn't look like he worked really hard to make a living.
And he had some angle on everything.
And Tracy and Stewart go into business together. She became involved with the boyfriend. And together they formed this company, Traci Lords Company, the TLC company. Tracy at that time was a big, huge you know, she was as big as anybody could be in the industry. I'm Lilianna, and this is Once Upon a Time in the Valley featuring Ashley West. A young woman widely publicized under the name of Traci Lords may legally be just a child. That's Dan Rather reporting for CBS News on July 18th, 1986, just after the FBI raided Tracy Law Department.
The scandal is a shitstorm of biblical proportions and it's not going to blow over before it hits the industry. Full blast, though. Let's go back a bit. Two months back, to be precise. In May, Tracy went to France with her business partner, slash boyfriend Stuart Dell, to make Tracy I love you. On May 7th, she turned 18. On May 8th, she began shooting. Tracy, I Love You will be her final adult movie and her only legal adult movie.
Another personal detail, Tracy, I Love You is produced by TLC, the Tracy Lords Company, which Tracy and Stewart owned.
OK, listeners guess he was an impressionable young college student back in nineteen eighty six, living in Paris and working on a movie which happens to be Tracy Atem.
Translation Tracy. I love you, Ashley. You've been holding out on us. First of all, how did you get this job?
Well, I was midway through a French language degree. It's an English university. And part of the deal was I had to spend a year in France working as a high school teacher. It didn't pay much.
So I signed up with an agency for interpreters and they booked me on a few boring corporate gigs. And then one day I was offered a job with a Parisian film crew. They'd been hired by a pair of visiting Americans.
You can imagine my surprise when I got to the set and realized that A, this was an adult film production and B, that the question was Traci Lords and Stuart Dell. So you already knew who Tracy was then? I was a horny college kid. My friends were horny college kids, and even in Europe, Tracy was huge.
What was your impression of Tracy? What she looked like, dressed like you act like a movie star.
She was very beautiful, beautifully dressed, took control of the set. She was the one we all looked to. Everyone was in awe of her. Any sense that she might have been under age? None at the time.
I thought she was a few years older than I was. And of course, she was actually a few years younger. But she was so assured, so worldly, she seemed light years ahead of me. Any sense that she might have been? I know she seemed like a person in complete command of herself and healthy. She was slim, but not at all underweight. Her skin glowed. She just looked better than everybody else. Curiouser and curiouser.
OK, thanks, Ashley. Now back to L.A. back to July of eighty six, the news broke.
It's out there. Here's adult actor Bilad. 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?
It's that major of a moment in the industry, a true watershed event. Adult actress Christy Cannon, she remembers where she was.
I remember I was in my living room. I don't even I think it was cleaning or doing something watching like Entertainment Tonight or one of those kind of gossipy shows. And they said, Traci Lords, you know, under it, whatever the news thing was, and there was no TiVo or DVR, you couldn't rewind it. And I just remember thinking, oh, my God. And then I'd go from, like one news station to the next. I think I actually, like, got out and got a newspaper the next morning, like, I was in shock, absolutely blindsided, shocked.
There was no way I would have picked that one. No way, Ashleigh. Everyone we talked to in the industry seems as Florida's Christie was. I mean, when we started all this, I figure that industry people knew that it was an open secret or at least that some industry people knew that some industry people were in on the secret because treacy's from Redondo Beach, which is only 30 miles from the valley, it's part of South Bay, which is part of Los Angeles County.
How would word not get out?
Because it was the 80s, because there were no cell phones, no camera phones, no social media, no emailing, no texting. So that thirty miles really counted the world of Redondo Beach and South Bay was completely separate from the worlds of the valley and porn. That's got to be the case because we asked every person we interviewed, did you have a clue? And it's across the board and convincing us.
Here's Ginger Linn's. But no, I thought she was the when I met. I told you that she was the truck driver. No, she had this confidence about her that you didn't think of her as a girl.
She thought of her as a woman. Now, we all know she was just playing a character. You know, she was pretending to be a grown up, pretending to be a woman. But she came in. She acted like she wanted to be there. She did everybody that would do her. And that was everybody.
She was so pretty and she just fucked everybody.
You know, none of us knew, none of us suspected, none of us. It never crossed your mind. You know, there was no you know, for me, it was like Gore that was there, but there was no baby.
She never hears himself. I think back then, the agency fee, if somebody shot you, they come to me, was 50 bucks for 50 dollars, I'm going to take a chance of being arrested on a felony charge. And the most emphatic denial of all comes from Soos Randall closer to Tracy than anyone in the industry think.
I would have endangered my children and things just to shoot some chick with big boobs and a good face on a great long term. Noses, no, we don't. I know your dirty little secret and sorry, I'm telling everybody it's kind of my job you poop. No, that's not the secret. We all poop, but you're pooping and still wiping with toilet paper. Haven't you heard? We've all upgraded from toilet paper to tushy. What are you waiting for?
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So the media goes gaga for Tracy story if porn has been gaining influence, popularity in scope. Thanks to VHS and video cameras, the gains are largely made in secret and in isolation only. That's no longer so.
The Tracey is headline news proves in some obscure but vital way that Tracey has always been headline news. Here's Paul Fishbein, founder of the adult trade magazine ABND. I remember the L.A. Times covered it front page. I remember it making television. I do remember seeing mainstream coverage on porn for the first time. It made the national news that was a big deal.
Tracy's bust comes at a bad time for the adult industry because it occurs not months after the release of the report, not weeks, but days. And the report, which was issued by a commission with the Express, if unstated purpose of bringing down the pornography industry comes out surprise, surprise against pornography.
Paul Fishbein, again, the commission was the first major earthquake because the Meese commission provided a fake overview of the impact of pornography on society with a completely biased right wing panel of anti porn, anti free speech religious zealots. And I attended Meese commission hearings in Los Angeles and it was dreadful. The fix was in. It was all designed to stop the proliferation of pornography and to put a clamp on the First Amendment.
And Tracy makes it a double whammy. Here's Johnny to Western, an L.A. attorney who specializes in the First Amendment and who specializes more, particularly in the First Amendment as it pertains to the adult industry. Weston argued seven cases in the United States Supreme Court.
And as the lawyer for porn people, the poster child for the X rated industry turns out not to have been an adult, let alone two consenting adults.
The danger was clear because the potential sentences and the punishment that could be imposed by a court following a conviction or a guilty plea was staggering. The jail terms were real. They were long. They were federal. Just a complete devastation of people's ability to be free. I mean, in one fell swoop, virtually everybody could have been jailed, everything could have been seized. All existing stocks of materials could have been forfeited and just eliminated from the cultural scene.
Traci Lords is the QAD of the Meese Commission's wildest dreams. She's also the commission's best and most effective weapon.
If it wields her in just the right way, it could shut down the porn industry for good. So the biggest threat Tracy poses to the adult industry is obviously legal. His adult actress and director, Veronica Hart. Overnight she made a whole part of our industry, child pornographers, anybody that had a tape, a video, a real of Traci Lords all of a sudden were kiddie porn people.
Suze Randall and her husband, adult writer director Humphrey Kneipe. Discuss with me and Ashley the ensuing panic. Scratch that. The ensuing terror. When I did hear about it, I just said, oh, that's funny, that sounds like Tracy, you know, I didn't realize how serious it was. And then once we realized how serious it was, we were running around shredding stuff and throwing stuff in trash bins all over. Looking behind us, vice cops have destroyed everything.
How did you actually destroy it? Shredded it just two negatives, threw them in black trash bags and looked around for an empty dumpster next supermarket and it was empty. We knew the pictures would be at the bottom of the trash pile in there.
And the penalties were endless, horrendous fines per incident. And it could be it who was 36 frames in a row form. You could be done for 36 different violations of the Child Pornography Act. You were looking at your life in jail. That's the worst case scenario.
We told my daughter while mommy and daddy to come home, you better call this number. We were petrified, expecting a knock on the door to each other more than anybody else. That knock never comes for Susan Humphrey. It does, however, comfort himself.
You would have thought I was Al Capone. There had to have been 30 photographers downstairs when they arrested me and took me out. And Jim isn't the only one getting arrested by law enforcement. His adult actor and director, Paul Thomas, known as Pete. People start getting in trouble and a guy named Milton Engli was dead. Now he's my friend. He had a studio and he had hired Tracey and did business with Tracey as an underage model. He has a subpoena and was supposed to appear before the authorities.
And he was freaked out and he called me 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. When they murdered my family, but he put the fear of God into me.
So I took the five thousand and drove over to the valley and give to them legal is, as we said, the biggest threat Tracey poses to the adult industry. But financial is hot on its heels. Here's Paul Fishbein.
Everybody had to take all the movies out of circulation, recall them from distributors. Distributors had to recall the retailers. They had to be destroyed. It was an expensive proposition. These were good big selling movies and she was a big seller and they lost that revenue.
Economic devastation as widespread as Tom Byron attests, people went out of business and you know, the whole thing.
Half of the library was gone overnight, millions of dollars, you know.
And then there's the emotional devastation resulting from the economic devastation. Here's Ginger Lynn.
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, invested so much time and energy into her, they had to lock them up.
And one of the person at the centre of this chaos, where's Tracy? One place she isn't in trouble. Here's L.A. District Attorney IRA Reiner speaking to the press on July 18th, 1986.
This Tracy Lord may be a very hard professional today, but she started out as a 15 year old who ran away three years ago when she came out here and was brought in by the pornographic film industry. And she was just so much grist for their mill.
So Tracey will not be facing charges. The government considers her the victim in all this. And the people the government considers the villains in all this, the adult industry people, well, their heads are spinning. They go to Tracy, Frances or Tracy can't be found. She doesn't answer the phone.
Or according to one former co-star, the door tape to which is a note that reads, I'm sorry, Tracy is not in. Please leave us alone. Go away.
Getting arrested is just the start of Jim s legal troubles. He's indicted along with Ronald Canter and Rupert McNee, the producers of those young girls which Tracy had appeared in in 1984.
The charges violating a statute prohibiting the filming of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The statute carries penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a one hundred thousand dollar fine. Here's Dunnage Weston, who represented all three men, the title of the film, Those Young Girls, clearly was something that the government thought had fallen into their lap, but leading them to think they died and went to heaven because that was just a perfect choice for exactly what they wanted.
The government initiated about five or six grand jury investigations. Those young girls was going to be the test case, so to speak. If you recall from the previous episode, those young girls, as the movie Ginger Lynn wrote, starred in and cast, Ginger doesn't get indicted, but she does get in hot water, very hot. But my first house and I was living in Beverly Hills, my neighbors were Ricardo Montalban and Dolly Parton and Madonna and going and this is fucking awesome.
This is great movie with Eddie Holzman, who's a photographer.
I remember I got out of the shower and I had my hair in a towel and I had a towel wrapped around me and my boyfriend was doing something. He didn't hear the door. And I'm like yelling, you open the door, open the door. And I opened the door in a towel with Tom. I had a towel around my body and there was a woman and a man. And the woman had her purse, her bag.
And I saw a tape recorder in it. You know, I'm a dirty little girl and I'm nasty and wild and fun, and I love sex and I love people, I love life. But I didn't have a parking ticket. And they said, Are you Ginger Lynn? I said to them, You asked me Apple.
And they didn't let me.
So they came in and asked me to testify against all of these adult film producers. And I refused. The next thing I know, the attorney came in and said, if you don't testify, we're going to make your life really difficult.
Ginger feels she has no choice but to agree to testify. I went before the grand jury and they showed me photographs of Tracy. Who is this person? Who is that person? And, you know, I don't know everybody. I wasn't the person that they thought that I was going to be who could out everybody. And even if I were, I would not have. Fortunately, I have a really bad memory. Leave it at that.
Of course, there's no way the government is going to leave it at that. But before we get to the government's revenge for losing to the porn industry, the porn industry's victory over the government last episode, we singled out as a crucial detail the passport the Susan Randall secured for Tracy. Here's where it comes into play.
I'm now going to read something said by adult veteran Bill Moghuls, sadly no longer with us about the passport. Tracy rocked this business and could have crippled this business if it hadn't been for the United States passport. I honestly believe that that single document, say the X rated industry, because I don't think the United States wants it to be culpable.
And it's on September 29, 1988, that the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that Jim s Ronald Cantor and Robert McNee can defend themselves against criminal prosecution with evidence that they did not know that the actor Tracy in this instance obviously was under 18. John H. Wesson remembers the moment he heard the ruling. I was in a hotel in Washington, D.C. I was about to argue and totally unrelated case in the United States Supreme Court in three or four days.
And all of a sudden there was a knock at the door and somebody pushed a manila envelope under the door. And I opened it up and it was like this 20 page opinion that my office had faxed to me. This is pretty standard free email and fax to me with the 9th Circuit opinion. And I think they could have heard me scream at the Washington Monument from my hotel room. I was so proud of the way the system had worked that the First Amendment had been honored that we've been able to do a good legal work and accomplish what we wanted most for our clients, who we thought very much were innocent, and also at the same time for the industry, which had really striven very, very hard to avoid.
Underage performers in the industry, however, is hardly home free, because when the government can't get you on the big flashy crime, it gets you on a little piddling one. Just ask Al Capone or Tom Byron. I started to get investigated by the IRS that year, of course, Harry and Ginger Lynn, because of a high profile I was high profile.
Harry Russo's high profile Ginger Lynn was high profile. They went after that to make an example. What happened? I did not pay taxes.
I just filed them late. So I had to go through the whole thing. And, you know, I was on probation for three years and yeah, it sucked.
Sucks harder for Ginger, who really made the government's blood boil with her convenient memory loss in front of that grand jury.
Five years later to the day I was at Charlie Show, I was dating Charlie Sheen at the time and I was at Charlie's house and I got the phone call from my attorney saying, you've been indicted. And they tried to charge me with tax evasion, but I'd paid my taxes.
And there were three counts that were against me. I was facing six years in prison and they didn't expect a fight. I had Charlie on my side and Charlie and his family were extremely helpful financially, as well as just moral support. They were there for me during the whole thing. So what happened was I was found guilty. On one count it was over two thousand eighty seven dollars and four cents. And so I ended up getting seven hundred fifty hours of community service, Germany hours, seven hundred fifty fucking hours and three years probation.
A few months before my probation was over, I was given permission to go to Cannes for the film festival. And I had a film that was in it. And Charlie and I had been off and again and again. So I ran into Charlie and can now I have permission to go to Cannes.
I don't have permission, however, to go to Vienna, where Charlie is filming Three Musketeers, but I do go to the other with Charlie and I'm engaged to someone else at the time. So I'm wearing a ring. And so it ends up on the news. So my probation officer actually sees me in Vienna.
So when I get back, I'm immediately drug tested and thrown into federal prison. Like I said, I don't have a fucking parking ticket.
My roommates, I was with an arsonist, a woman who murdered her husband and had just done seven years and then a credit card thief kind of girl. And the way this whole thing started was because I wouldn't testify against my friends and my family on Tracy Lord's behalf, was not willing to do that. And I ended up spending four hundred fifty thousand dollars on a trial for a crime that I did not commit.
Obviously, my feelings towards Tracy grew less and less kind, and they were never kind in the beginning. And the IRS is not the only weapon in the government's arsenal. There's also the obscenity law is Paul Fishbein.
When the scandal happened, it was horrendous because the Meese commission led to the obscenity unit in the Justice Department, which led to the raids on the offices of, I think, 80 or 90 adult video companies over a couple of month period and indictments against a ton of them in trials and some people going to jail simply for selling consenting adult material to a consenting adult.
And this is Paul Thomas, one of those who gets busted for obscenity on what it's like making adult movies in such an atmosphere.
Obscenity was defined by I'm not sure, but I know it when I see it. That could have ruined the business. That could have put us, because it makes it impossible to do business. It makes it impossible to try to do the right thing. You did the right thing is we had to present our audiences with hardcore sex, but to stay out of harm's way in order to do what we thought would be seen as obscene by a jury, it would take on sometimes the ridiculous specificity of you can spread her cunt this much, but don't use two hands to spread it.
Just two fingers. You can put it in two fingers, maybe three, but don't put it in four. And if you put in four, make sure your thumb is like this. You can come on her breasts, not your face. But if you come on her face, not in her mouth was ridiculous.
Well, nobody who worked with Tracey on her underage adult films is convicted of a crime relating to those films. One man is convicted for selling them. Got Usman. First of all, Ashleigh, what a name. Second of all, who is this guy? Rubin Guzman, known as Ruby, was a prominent distributor of adult films since the early 70s. His former LAPD detective, Bob Navarro, on how Ruby got busted.
I was not in charge at the time, but one of our detectives, Steve Takeshita, in an undercover capacity, bought a whole bunch of for Traci Lords that he was after. It was determined that she was underage when she did Gutzman, knowing there were videos that produced and she was still underage, sold them to Takeshita anyway. So he was convicted of distribution of child pornography based on the Traci Lords videos.
Adult actress Sharon Mitchell, herself a minor when she started in porn in New York in the 70s, though an emancipated minor is called in as a witness at Ruby's trial.
I remember the district attorney asking me at the time whether I recall working with her or whatever, and I said I recalled meeting her on the set, you know, and he said, well, was she naked?
And I said, yeah. He said, was he engaged in any sexual acts? I said, I don't recall because I really didn't. And he said, well, couldn't you tell that you were working with a minor? And I said, Honey, I couldn't tell the difference between a 16 year old and an 18 year old kid, could you?
Sharon was being a smart ass, obviously, but actually, I think it's a good question. And the night of Living Dangerously, for example, Tracy was 16 and Kristi was 18. How could you tell the difference in age between their breasts to the D.A.? Actually answer.
No, he didn't. He didn't. Sharon, a hostile witness and tossed him out of court.
So Sharon doesn't testify at the Godsmack trial, but then neither does Tracy. Remember Tracy's mother, Patricia Brickland. That's who Tracy gets to testify on her behalf. Gail Holland, then a reporter for the Copley News Service, covered the trial. Holland and I discussed her memories of Graceland.
She was basically she's like a bespectacled redhead. I think she was pretty impassive. I mean, you're in a federal courthouse. That can be a very intimidating place with this guy who's accused of federal crimes, you know, from the highest levels of the Department of Justice. And they showed her a bunch of clips of her underage daughter at these various movies with these outrageous titles. It's a very disturbing situation for her, I'm sure.
And then of the reason Bryson gave, which presumably Tracy gave for Iceland, for why he never went to the cops, told them she was under age.
Her mother also said that she was afraid that some of the people in or around the goddess but operation would kill her. The L.A. Times quotes Priceline on the witness stand exactly quote, Tracy told me that if I went to the authorities, the people she was involved with would kill her. She told me to keep my mouth shut or I would get her in terrible trouble, end quote. So Tracy was scared of incurring the wrath of the mob. That's what she's saying about Iceland right now.
Quite saying, but implying since the mob is never used in her memoir. Underneath it all, Tracy explains how Iceland came to be in the courtroom in her stead a few months after the scandal broke, there was a mother daughter reconciliation as we read.
Of course, it was time to call my mother. The first thing I said to my mother was, I'm so sorry. She told me I was going to be OK, but I wasn't so sure. I knew I couldn't be OK.
With prosecutors torturing me on a daily basis and my mother volunteered to testify in my place. You would do that for me? Absolutely. She said I'm here for you. My mother's willingness to testify and my place gave me room to heal and prove to me that I really did matter to her.
After all the battles we'd fought against each other, we were finally on the same side. Heartwarming words. In a 1990 profile in GQ magazine, Tracy uses less heartwarming words. She tells writer Pat Jordan, I got out of every subpoena. It cost me a lot of money. My mother testified for me and the judge bought it. Well, I don't know if I buy it. In New York in the 70s, the mob run the adult business using tried and true mob methods, extortion, racketeering and, of course, intimidation.
But when the business moved to Los Angeles and to video, the mob lost its grip. Lower costs. Both the movie production of video duplication meant that just about anyone could enter the business, but there simply weren't the same kind of moneymaking opportunities. Sharon Mitchell, honestly, as far as a mob presence goes in Los Angeles. It was nothing like it in New York. It was more like, you know, my Dutch uncle Louie or my Italian Uncle Vito, you know, in Los Angeles.
It was like they sent the idiot nephews out there that a lot of them, you know, they just weren't playing with a full deck. They didn't have the big budgets that they had to work with. So I guess they felt comfortable shuffling all the kind of the dumb cousins and nephews out here to start the video companies. And that's really the truth. That's how I felt at. Sears definitely doesn't buy it. That's a total lie that Tracy was scared by the mom, she would affect them all anyway if they were there.
No, no, that's a mother trying to make up excuses for her daughter behavior. No, that's nonsense.
In any case, Tracy Spears, if she indeed had them, were quickly assuaged by Janet Weston.
There was some suggestion from my client that she, Tracy, was very fearful that she faced physical jeopardy and physical harm from some elements of the industry. And they said, you know, please make sure that she understands that there is no physical harm or no jeopardy that she's facing. I said, sure, I'd be happy to do so. She came to my office not as a client, made that very clear to her when she came in. I had never met her before.
I was anxious to see her so I could communicate better to take this young person and stop her anxiety when I was absolutely confident that there was nothing that she had to fear. And then the next step came when she said, well, is there somebody I could recommend to her? And it was one of those things sort of like, oh, well, funny you should ask, because the person I most wanted to refer to is maybe the only person in the country I would have referred to was a dear close friend of mine who also fit the bill perfectly.
Leslie Abramson, who obviously female attitude wise and toughness and legal skills would be absolutely perfect for Tracy, would protect her, would make sure that she was properly advised so that she, Tracy, could make the best decisions for her.
Tracy agrees that Abramson is perfect for her. She lavishes praise on Abramson and underneath it all, calling Abramson the first protector in my life. And yet Weston, who goes out of his way to do right by her, she trashes. But she does acknowledge that it was he who led her to Abramson. She also says that he publicly stated that she was washed up and that she, quote, would never make anything out of herself. Western seem shocked when I read these words to him.
His response is, this is not possible.
I would have said that it's not possible because putting it in the most crass, it would have been a stupid thing to say in terms of alienating or making uncomfortable a witness who I very much wanted to obviously be helpful to my client. On the other hand, I wouldn't have said it just as a human level, not possible.
I understand why Tracy would elevate Abramson, but why denigrate Western, who had been kind to her at a difficult time?
I don't know. Maybe because in her memoir, she presents just about every person in the adult industry as a scumbag. Definitely every man in the adult industry is a scumbag and Western is an adult industry lawyer.
And of course, he's a man.
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Set in 1930s L.A., Mason finds that uncovering the truth means exposing a city full of corruption and everybody is guilty, costarring 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. OK, we've discussed the FBI bust, the aftermath of the FBI bust without answering the essential question, who ratted out Tracy to the FBI in the first place? Our question truly is essential. It's the key to the mystery at the heart of the Tracy Leard story.
Answer it and you solve the mystery. It doesn't take long for rumors to begin circulating that a jealous ex attorney, Tracy in a jealous rival, that a mother owned all the rights to her titles and was using the scandal to drive up the price that she'd been paying off her father in Steubenville to keep quiet about a real age.
And when she stopped selling out, he squealed to get back at her. And of course, Tracy says she doesn't know, but suspects that it was her mom's creepy ex, the man she calls Roger Hayes, in her memoir. Really, though, there's only one theory among industry people, Susan Randal articulates it. I often wondered if she didn't let the cat out of the bag herself.
Tom Byron is less equivocal.
I think she had this in her mind from the get go. You know, like, you know, she used to say to me this point, I was going to be a stepping stone to big Hollywood.
Ginger Lynn is less equivocal even than Tom Cruise is just a cunt.
She's just a two faced, backstabbing, dead eyed bitch. I hope her tits rise and fall out.
I really cannot stand her.
It all comes down to Tracy's last adult movie and the timing of Tracy's last adult movie camera. Start Rolling. And Tracy, I love you. The day after Tracy turns 18 and the writer Tracy I love you belong to TLC, i.e. Tracy's recently formed company Follow the Money. The adult industry says who stands to profit from having all of Tracy's underage adult movies off the shelves? The individual who owns the rights to Tracy is one of age adult movie. And that's Tracy to adult actor Tim Connelly.
It's a whodunit that anyone with a room temperature IQ can solve. It's really simple.
You know, you didn't have to be Columbo to figure it out. Every movie sheesha and there are a shitload of them was now illegal except for the movies that she made and happen to own. Gee, you know. And speaking of timing, traces is uncanny. She's a centerfold in the issue of Penthouse magazine that's going to sell better than any issue in Penthouse history because of the Miss America dethroning. She enters adult movies at the very moment the industry is booming and she exits at the very moment it goes bust.
Here's Tom Byron on the bust, dude. Eighty four and eighty five were magical years. Things started kind of like fucking falling apart in 86 because the Meese commission report came out. People started getting busted. Traci Lords revelations came out. Those three things fucked up. A good thing in AIDS. If I had a cold, it lasted for longer than a couple of days. I was convinced, oh God, I got AIDS. But the first casualty in any kind of economic crunch is a talent.
Though we became a casualty of everyone having to spend money on legal fees, everyone's rates had to go down, so I had to work more for less money. Tracy, on the other hand, is not hurting for money at all. In fact, she's rolling in it when she sells the rights to Tracy. I love you to the adult studio Cavaleiro for one hundred thousand dollars. So I refer to Ashley as the Studs Terkel of porn. Well, he's also the Sam Spade.
He tracked down the then owner of Cavaleiro, this man who sold Cavaleiro back in 1990 and who now lives in semiretirement in Arizona. A local business owner and pillar of the community requested that we not use his name, though it isn't hard to figure out what that name is, he doesn't even want his voice used.
So I'm just going to tell you what he said about Tracy. I love you. Bear in mind, these are his exact words, not an approximation.
I said to him, I was wondering if in addition to a lump sum, Tracy got a royalty. He said, and again, this is a direct quote. She did. She got a royalty. It was done through her manager. I said, oh, really? That's interesting. He said, oh, yeah, she got a generous royalty Iran for many years.
So basically that one hundred K was just the beginning of the money Tracy was going to see for Tracy. I love you. And incidentally, by which I mean not incidentally at all. Tracy, I Love You is the best selling release of nineteen eighty seven, also of nineteen eighty eight and of nineteen eighty nine. Additionally in nineteen eighty eight.
Tracy, I love you would take home a top prize at the event awards, the porn Oscars.
Tracy might still be the porn star with the most of the nineteen eighty eight, but she's trying to become a mainstream actress. She's Captain Jim Wojnarowski, remake of Roger Corman. Not of this earth. A big picture if you're grading on a curve and very close to sexploitation. Nevertheless, very close to sexploitation isn't sexploitation. And she is lead. And not only is Tracy now trying to become a straight star, she's saying that she never meant to be a porn star, that the adult industry had taken advantage of her.
She appears on the television news magazine program, A Current Affair, to discuss how degrading the experience was.
I went home and I remember being in the shower for a very long time. But you can't wash that off, that's the problem. You could wash it off, you'd be fine, but you can't. The adult industry scoffed at her claims that it used and abused her. Here's Ginger Lynn if peed my pants when I heard it.
And here's Veronica Hart and Susan Randle. She hijacked the industry and she caused problems for the industry, not the other way around.
So you can't blame the victim, not a victim.
No, she's an abuser. Adult actress Anne Boleyn makes a compelling point regarding Tracy's company, TLC. If you really break down what is being said and the behavior you go, you are being exploited. Well, who's exploiting you? You're all yourself. Were you exploiting yourself? You own your own company. How are you being exploited by the porn industry when you own your own company? You are the exploiter. You are not the exploited. You know what I'm saying?
What further pisses off the adult industry is Tracey's decision to go mainstream, but to stick with her, not to porn, to in fact make her name to porn. Her official name, Tracy, claims that she did this after she was hired for a modeling job under the name Nora Kuzma and then fired when the company found out Nora Kuzma was also Traci Lords. The way Tracy presents it, she's making the honest and honorable choice Veronica heartens is Randall. However, don't see it as either.
They see it as opportunistic and mercenary.
I think she got mileage off her name. She got in because of the name that she made in porn. It's a great career move. Yeah, because she would have gotten nowhere without all this.
Anyway, we should address to Tracy's claim Tracy's paradoxical claim that though she was taken advantage of by the adult industry the entire period she was in, the adult industry is one big blank due to her excessive drug and alcohol consumption. Here's Tom Byron's response, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. He wasn't so drugged out, she couldn't bullshit. She was never fucked up on that ever.
And here is Christy Kenyan's.
I personally am no therapist by any means, but I think that she was knocking the business to make it seem like she was the victim. OK, now I want to get into mainstream, but everyone's going to remember the name. I didn't really like what I was doing. I was forced to do it. You weren't forced to do it, Tracy? None of us were forced to do anything. No one had a gun to her head. She had fun on set.
You guys. I was there with her. She liked it. When I heard that she hit on on the sets, we all did. I never saw her do drugs.
I never saw her show up drunk. I never saw her. She never offered me drugs. She never asked me if I had drugs. I think that that was all a cover up so she could transition into mainstream. I guess what she did, what she had to do. But I'm sorry that she felt she had to lie about good people to get to where she went.
Ashleigh, this is interesting, in the 1990 GQ profile, Pat Jordan presses Tracy on her claim that she's unable to remember her porn years because she was in a drug haze. She drops your card for a moment, grinned at him and says, I can't talk about my past. NBC is making a movie of my life and I don't want to spill my cookies.
And adding insult to injury is Tracy's insistence on pretending that the adult industry people no longer exist now that she's no longer in the adult industry. On a 1996 British talk show, she's asked by host Gaby Roslin if she ever encounters old porn colleagues.
But those people now, do they ever come knocking on? Would they say, no, you wouldn't live? I live in a completely different world. I do. And that's great. She doesn't of course, she still lives in L.A., still works in the entertainment business, but she behaves as if she does at the number of her colleagues told us about seeing her at a party or an event around town and getting cold shouldered when she runs into adult actor and former co-star Herschel Savage a year or two after the scandal.
However, she's icy, but she doesn't freeze him out entirely.
There was one video convention where she had already crossed over and she was getting some success as an actress. And I was at the convention for porn and stuff and I was walking around and I saw her signing autographs and I just walked in. I not put myself in her face, but I started off to the side and she looks up and she goes, Hello, Herschel. But it was almost like, yes, I acknowledge you. That was that kind of thing.
It wasn't mean in any way. It was almost like, yeah, I guess I have to deal with this, you know, kind of things. Subtle.
When Tracy runs into Tom Birhan in 1989, she isn't just trying for legitimacy. She's achieved it. No more TV pictures with can't get arrested directors and shoestring budgets for her. Now she's landed a major role in a feature film, Cry-Baby, directed by John Waters, a bona fide auteur, and starring Johnny Depp, a bona fide movie star. Moreover, while filming Cry-Baby, she'll fall in love with its prop master, Eaton, a cousin of John Waters.
And she'll marry Brooke a few months after crybabies premiere in a ceremony performed by Waters himself. In 1990, she'll even have a TV movie of her life story in the works with a major network, NBC. She alluded to in that GQ interview, there's talk of Christina Applegate, whom Tracey will become close friends with a year later when Tracy guest stars and married with children playing Tracy. So Tracy is in the position she likes best on top. Here's Tom.
I bumped into a one time at ABC, a show like maybe three years after the whole thing broke and I actually stood in line for an autograph and she didn't see me till I was right there. And I said to Tom, she looked up, give me a look like, what the fuck to get the fuck out of here. It's kind of like I said to Tom, but was giving me the look with her eyes like, dude, come on, man, you're fucking my shit up.
Get out of here. So I just kind of, like, walked away and it was like a.
But that was it. OK, lessness, that's the end of part two, Little Red Riding Hood revenge or the Tracy Lord story as told by the adult industry. If you had to sum up the Traci Lords story as told by the adult industry in a line, it would be this. The Tracy law story, as told by Traci Lords, is a lie, which means that Tracy's memoir, underneath it all, literally the Traci Lords story is told by Traci Lords.
It's also, according to the adult industry, a lie. It's difficult to know, though, how much weight to give the charge. After all, Tracy almost destroyed the adult industry, the industry that was motivated by revenge. Naturally, it's going to say that Tracy's book, which makes it look quite bad, is nothing but fabrication and distortion.
Only it's not just the adult industry saying that.
No, I'm not easily surprised. But when you found what you found, I was floored. I've been covering this subject for 20 odd years now. I'd always thought it was Tracy versus the adult industry, Hollywood versus Deadwood. Yeah, it knocked me out, too. And I stumbled on it by accident when I was doing a newspaper search for something else. Tracy related. It's a letter, one that was printed in the L.A. Times on August 10th, 2003, after underneath it all was published and it was written by Tracy's younger sister.
I'll read it to you. Contesting laws I'm writing in regard to your recent article on Traci Lords and her new book, Underneath It All, as Tracy's sister, I can tell you that underneath it all is more of the same. Tracy is once again portraying herself as someone she is not and getting away with it because no one is bothering to check out her story. I love my sister, but I hate what she's doing. Her memoir doesn't set the record straight.
It further distorts an already convoluted family tragedy. I thumbed through a copy of Underneath It All after hearing that Tracy had, without my knowledge or consent included mention of me. Clearly, the publishers didn't bother with any fact checking. Tracy's account contains factual errors, draws and circumstances that Tracy wasn't even aware of at the time and turned in an event being raped that frankly, I just don't think ever happened. It's painful to have your childhood traumas dug up, twisted and put on display.
Tracy is a survivor, but her book is misleading and self aggrandizing. My sister has hurt many people over the years with her deceptions and half truths. Sadly, she still does. Rachel Kuzma's, Los Angeles. Next time on Once Upon a Time in the Valley, you think this is all there is to the Tracey Laird story? Think again. There's a part three and it's the most shocking yet.
She sat next to me in this morning's class and she was just really sweet and kind and gentle and almost like a happy person, but not a happy persona. She's just a sweetheart and. This has been a presentation of C 13 originals, a division of Caden's 13 executive produced by Chris Corcoran and me LILIANNA, directed by Zach Levitt, created and written by me, produced by Ashley West, edited and mastered by Chris Bazil, Bill Schulz, Harry Kraul and Ian Molk.
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Once upon a Time in the Valley is hosted by me and Ashley West.
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