Adult industry enraged as 'Porn Wikileaks' gives stars' real names

 

Los Angeles

Erotic stars such as Jenna Jameson, her male counterpart Seymore Butts and Charlie Sheen's latest inamorata, 24-year-old blonde former centrefold Bree Olson, are all so mainstream that their lives are detailed in Wikipedia.

But the 1,500 or so performers in the seedier end of the pornographic film trade, predominantly based in California, often sought to conceal their "acting" careers from friends and family and especially later employers.

Now the ability of those pornographic film performers to hide their identity behind sometimes bizarre stage monikers has been shot to pieces after a website published a leaked database containing the real names, dates of birth, and official nicknames of more than 15,000 of the adult industry's hard-working performers, past and present.

Most of the information revealed by the Porn Wikileaks site is likely to have come from computer files that originally belonged to the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation [AIM], an STD-testing facility based in the San Fernando Valley, north of Los Angeles, which caters to the 1,500 working erotic film actors based in the region at any one time.

Under guidelines that are supposed to minimise the spread of HIV and other venereal diseases – in an industry that does not always insist on condom use except in titles aimed at the gay market – all pornographic actors are supposed to be tested at the clinic once a month. Producers and directors are then able to access the database it holds, before casting their movies.

The information published by Porn Wikileaks was first uploaded several weeks ago but only began being widely disseminated yesterday, after its existence was highlighted by Mike South, a blogger who covers adult entertainment issues. "Your information is now in the hands of people who shouldn't have it," he warned his readers in the trade.

Although the leaked database does not include private medical information or test results, it includes names, addresses and copies of identification documents of everyone who has registered at AIM. In some cases, it also includes Google Maps photos of their homes. The site will therefore effectively "out" anyone who has worked as an erotic actor since the clinic opened in 1998.

That prospect is uncomfortable for porn stars who have neglected to inform friends of family members of their profession. And it's even more chilling for former adult actors who may have quit the trade several years ago in order to pursue mainstream employment. In two cases in recent months, US schools have sacked members of their teaching staff after it emerged they had starred in erotic films when younger.

No one knows what motivated the creator of Porn Wikileaks, which is amateurish and yesterday struggled to cope with a sudden surge in traffic. The site is registered in the Netherlands, apparently by a disgruntled member of the "porn press", and describes the purpose of its existence as being a "media organisation" devoted to making the industry more transparent.

The leak of the database meanwhile comes at a bad time for the AIM clinic, which was founded by Sharon Mitchell, a former adult actress, in 1998. It was briefly closed by regulators last year following an HIV outbreak among performers tested there.

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