Cal/OSHA Investigating James Deen Porn Productions “For Serious Workplace Health And Safety Violations”

This post has been updated with information provides to The Frisky by AHF.

Yesterday, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) announced that the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) had “opened an investigation of James Deen Productions (DBA Third Rock Enterprises) for serious workplace health and safety violations” following allegations of rape and sexual assault against the porn star. OSHA confirmed that an investigation has been opened into the porn star’s production company. OSHA long had a contentious relationship with the adult film industry over their reluctance to use condoms on set – condom requirements which have been enforced by OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard since   2004, but according to AHF, many studios ignored the standard. In 2012, voters passed AHF’s Measure B, which requires adult film studios in LA County “to obtain health permits from the LA County Department of Public Health in order to obtain film permits to produce adult films within LA County,” and those health permits can only be obtained if the studio provides documentation that they are following the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. In December 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that requiring condoms does not “violate the industry’s First Amendment rights of free expression.”

For what it’s worth, the porn industry says it mandates performers get STD tests every 14 days and has cited examples of production shutting down in the event of a positive test result for HIV. Deen has been a vocal opponent of mandatory condom use in porn films, telling HuffPost Live in 2013:

“You are basically in a fluid, locked relationship with people that are all getting tested every 14 days with the highest standards of equipment, and there’s a database backing everything up, and everything’s cross referenced about who’s worked with who and what happened here and you can pretty much cut anything off. We’ve had zero HIV transmissions in over eight, nine ears. Our system works, and it works really, really well.”

Deen also called the mandate “a huge violation of my rights as an American citizen.” If Deen’s porn production company is found to have violated workplace health and safety standards, he could be fined up the wazoo.

In other Deen news, another woman (by my count, the 13th) has come forward alleging that during her first adult film shoot in 2009, Deen choked her so aggressively that she passed out. Holly Jee — then known by her porn name, Miss Genocide — gave her account to LAist, and said that Deen did not prepare her for “breath play” before the shoot and sprung it on her while they’re were filming:

“Typically, when you shoot with someone who is brand new, or even if they’re not [brand new], you go through how the scene is going to flow—this position, that position. [The performer] will typically tell you how they perform and how they like things. But James did not prepare me for breath play.

“Breath play is choking, but it’s not supposed to be choking to the point of blacking out. That kills braincells. [Breath play] is supposed to be a little bit of pressure, maybe slightly constricting the breathing, but not preventing the breathing.”

“He put the camera down and choked me until my eyes rolled into the back of my head and I passed out for a couple of seconds. It was only a few seconds, but I had never experienced anything like that. And to put the camera down, and to do that and not warn me? I was scared to bring it up. I’ve never done this before and James appeared to be this big commodity in the adult industry, so I didn’t want to be blacklisted.”

“He put the camera down to choke me for his own gain. It had nothing to do with the scene at all. I don’t think you even see it [in the scene].”

Jee also says that she witnessed firsthand the emotional and verbal abuse Deen inflicted upon then-girlfriend Joanna Angel. Jee describes two incidents in which Deen lashed out at Angel, including grabbing her phone out of her hand while she was texting and hurling it across the room, and screaming at her for bringing him a sandwich he didn’t like. Angel has said that Deen is “literally the worst person I have ever met.”

[LAist]

[Business Wire]