If you only watch one totally depressing video today, I suppose it could be this one. In a sit-down video interview with Us Weekly, former porn star Jenna Jameson shares about recent abuse allegations made by her against her boyfriend, MMA fighter Tito Ortiz. The situation has been covered to excess by the tabloid sites, and it’s unclear at this point exactly what happened. Jameson continues to change her story while discussing the matter openly with the paparazzi and the media. While what happened may remain a mystery, one thing’s for sure. Judging by this video, this girl is a tragic mess. I first met Jameson 13 years ago, when I interviewed her in San Francisco. Physically, she looked very different back then. The only obvious work she had undergone was a boob job, as I recall. Her face was entirely unlike the face that she has today. She was polite, if somewhat of a diva. She had a kitten-ish way about her. She rolled around on her hotel room bed with her roadie boyfriend while I asked questions. She was tiny, built like a bird.
When I met up with her later that night, where she was dancing at a legendary strip club in the city, I watched as she filled in her sparse pubic hair with eyeshadow in the dressing room. Once she hit the stage, she was transformed. Stomping around the stage to Marilyn Manson, she tore off her clothes and threw around her sexuality like it was a weapon as the crowd of men hooted and hollered.
The next time I saw her was on a porn set in Los Angeles a few months later. After a long day of shooting, during which seven porn stars had sex on a fire truck in the middle of an empty lot, it was time for Jameson’s scene. Earlier, she had shown up looking like the girl next door — no makeup, hair tied back, jeans and a T-shirt. By the time she exited the trailer hours later, she was a dominatrix from outer space. Her makeup was warpaint. Her thigh-high boots had seven-inch heels. A long braid of fake hair hit her butt as she tromped over to the empty building where her scene was to be shot.
The movie had a firefighter theme, so the set was ringed with fire. Jameson stood in the middle of it all as her costar, T.T. Boy, known for his rough style, approached her. Jameson, bent over, turned around and asked him, “Take it easy on me, OK?” And so he did, it seemed. The couple had sex for the cameras. Then, it was over.
I’ve kept tabs on her over the years since. She went mainstream, become something of an icon, and now this. Watching her break down in tears at the end of this video, her face distorted by pain and who knows what else, I feel bad for the girl. In a way, she seems like the same person I interviewed over a decade ago: a little girl pretending to be a woman. At the same time, she seems like a simulacrum of her former self, someone so twisted by unhappiness and pain in her pursuit of the American dream that she can only protest, “[We're] America’s couple,” as her white picket fence dreams fall apart.