Ukip porn star 'Johnny Rockhard' on 'coming out' as an adult performer: 'I thought people were going to spit at me'

The Ukip candidate speaks to The Independent about his recent revelation

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The Independent Online

“I’m actually John, really,” Ukip candidate John Langley, who is running to represent the party in the ward of Stockwood in Bristol, says. “I’m Johnny in another life, but I’m John now!”

For those unfamiliar, his other life is performer ‘Johnny Rockhard’, a working porn star with over a million followers “from the US to China”, who claims his unique experience in the world of adult entertainment would bring him closer to his constituents than the average politician at the “top of the tower”.

The news of his secret other job came out yesterday, and Ukip were quick to declare their pride at his honesty and heap him with praise. “At least he’s not a paedophile,” Bristol Ukip chair Steve Wood said.

“I’m not into kids in any way shape or form, they just don’t interest me,” Langley clarifies to The Independent. “I’ve often said that anything to do with kids, I’d rather be given an enema every day, five times a day, until summer 2020. That’s it, period, not interested.”

So that’s that.

He’s also received a surprise amount of support, he says, from the British public.

“To be honest with you, I was slightly concerned about making this public because of all the backlash and things like that and the negative opinions and I have just been receiving so much positive feedback. ‘Thank you for your honesty,’ you know.

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John Langley with a model

“I was almost dreading going out yesterday, because I thought people were going to have a go at me or spit at me and be nasty and abusive, and everybody has been absolutely fantastic.”

The porn stuff, however, is just a fragment of what makes him, him.  Langley also lives with three different personality disorders: “I’ve got Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder and Narcissistic,” he says. “So if you like, I’m constantly juggling three balls.”

Here’s what he has to say about Ukip’s policy on mental health, not wanting to sound like esteemed leader Nigel Farage, and the inextricable link between porn and politics.

The Independent: What made you decide to go into porn? How does such an opportunity arise?

John Langley: “Many, many, many moons ago, I started off as an escort. And it all kind of went downhill down there! Ha ha ha! No, that’s when I started, and I don’t know, I just kind of moved with the times and the opportunities and here I am.”

How did that all tie in with your political ambitions? What made leap from porn to politics? For a lot of people, it might seem a large jump to make?

JL: “It is, and it’s actually a very balanced one. The leap came about…  I’m diagnosed with having mental health problems and I got fed up with issues like all the labelling and all the politics, the bureaucracy of fighting my way through the brick wall of the system. So I moved into politics and public service and I ended up becoming a spokesperson for a lot of mental health groups… At the time it was with the Liberal Democrats, and they were wrong for me and I left them. And then I continued in many guises in health and social care. I ended up a few years ago as an independent commissioner for mental health, in terms of the National Personality Disorder program, which resulted in me kick-starting an exhibition at the Tate Modern for people with mental health problems…

Is that what you suffer from personally yourself?

JL: ”Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

What’s it like living with a Personality Disorder every day?

JL: “I’m sort of unique, because I’ve got three forms. I’ve got Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder and Narcissistic. So if you like, I’m constantly juggling three balls. And it was hugely problematic for me, because when I was involved in the front line of services I was always told that I had a “disorder”. And, you know, I’m not an intelligent person. I find my way through things and I see common sense. But as I was sitting there, and more involved in the Tate gallery exhibition, I realised that it was really negative language. There were so many talented people there who could express themselves from simple drawings, and these are people at Broadmoor, to really amazing paintings, and I changed the language at a meeting at the Board of Health one day. And I said, ‘No, it is not Personality Disorder. It is Personality Plus.’ We’ve got to change the language because that was a time when, you know, certainly the red tops, were describing everyone with a Personality Disorder as a knife-wielding maniac. And it’s just so untrue. And I suppose in a sense I got very political over that.”

What is the Ukip policy on mental health?

JL: “To put more money into it. There are lots of people with many, many challenges, and there is very little help out there. If you try and ask for help in Bristol, you’ve got to go through several different people before you get to the person you actually want to talk to. It shouldn’t be like that. It’s wrong.”

So what do you think about Nigel Farage’s assertion that the NHS might have to be replaced with Private Health Insurance within 10 years? Where would people get their help for free then?

JL: “You’ve hit on something very interesting. If you look on what previous governments have done, they’ve put the NHS in such remission, we are verging towards privatisation anyway. They’ve made it an inevitability. They’re not going to admit that, but with all the PFIs and all the out-sourcing. As far as Ukip are concerned, we’re not about privatising the NHS. The NHS belongs to the people and it should stay there. But the current governments are more than likely to force the whole of the country into a situation where all of a sudden that is it, that is going to happen. We don’t want that to happen, but if it does, then we’ve got to accept it and we’ve got to work around it but we’re certainly not going to work around it.”

How did you go about telling your chair about your porn career? What was the conversation like?

JL: “I went in on day one with my membership form, and I said, ‘I don’t know whether to give this to you or not, because there are certain things before I hand over my money and my membership card to you. And I sat in front of him and told him and he said, ‘You’ve been open, you’ve been honest, welcome.’”

That must have been nice, to have felt accepted like that straight away…

JL: “It was! And I’ll tell you why it was nice. For people who do have mental health problems, you’re so often judged, and I wasn’t, and I was accepted as an ordinary person off the street who wanted to join.”

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As well as being a Ukip candidate, John Langley has another life as the veteran porn star Johnny Rockard

Have you heard from Nigel Farage since your  porn career became big news yesterday?

JL: “Apparently, yeah. I’ve heard from the Ukip head office that Nigel has been very supportive and I appreciate that.”

Have you received much in the way of messages of support since you ‘came out’ as an adult star?

JL: “Oh, don’t even go there with messages of support! To be honest with you, I was slightly concerned about making this public because of all the backlash and things like that and the negative opinions and I have just been receiving so much positive feedback. ‘Thank you for your honesty,’ you know. I was almost dreading going out yesterday, because I thought people were going to have a go at me or spit at me and me nasty and abusive, and everybody has been absolutely fantastic.”

 

What do you think your experience in porn would bring to the role if you were to win the seat?

JL: “That’s a good question, and I think the honest answer to that is I have had to deal with people from so many walks of life. Even from the days when I was homeless and living on the streets. I was living out of skips and things. So, I’ve dealt with everybody in my time and it’s given me a really good understanding. I can relate to people over their issues and concerns in more ways because I’ve led this life. There are people who’ve never gone near some of the stuff I do, who cannot relate to what I do, who have never gone near the adult field, I suppose. I’m a card-carrying member of the GMB Union for God’s sake, the sex worker’s branch nationally.”

It sounds particularly difficult coming from that sort of background. When were you homeless?

JL: “This is going back years, but I was basically living in Cornwall inside a tent. It was health problems. I felt like my world had collapsed around me all of a sudden and I had nowhere to go. I  had to help myself, and I became a hermit, I buried myself away, I got lots of nice spiritual books and I helped myself. I would go to doctors and I would talk through my concerns with them and their answers would be to go and have a nice warm bath or to take a walk around the block. And that was their answer to everything. I ended up in psychiatric hospitals, I’ve be on mental health wards, I’ve been through the system. It was difficult getting myself back on my feet and back into housing and things like that but it’s been a very interesting and educational journey for me.”

If you were to be voted in, do you think you’d quit porn, or do you think you’d carry on doing it?

JL: “Oh God, that’s like asking Boris if he’s going to become Prime Minister, isn’t it? I don’t know.”

Ukip this week have gone for the women’s vote by scrapping the tampon tax. But porn doesn’t have the same sort of appeal to female voters. Some consider it degrading. Can it be empowering?

JL: “39 per cent of women in this country watch porn. I have emails from females who actually want to engage in the kind of stuff that I do. So there are two sides to every argument, and I accept there are those who are against it, but equally, I talk to women in the street who recognise what I do and say, ‘Well, good luck to you!’”

So do to think it could be a potential vote winner?

JL: “At the end of the day, the issue is whether I can do my job as a local representative. That’s what it’s really about.  You wouldn’t be asking me that question if we were living in some parts of Europe like Germany or even Amsterdam. It’s just England that it comes up because we have a very old fashioned view of adult industry over here. And that’s to our downfall.”

Ukip is viewed by some as quite an old-fashioned party in a lot of ways. Accepting porn seems quite progressive in comparison…

JL: “It is progressive. But why shouldn’t an ordinary person, I am an ordinary person, I’m no different to anyone else, walking on the street, going to Tescos. What matters is if I can do the job or not. That’s all I’m interested in. Can that person do the job?”

I have to say, the way you speak and annunciate, you do sound an awful lot like Nigel Farage…

JL: “Oh no…”

No? He’s your esteemed leader, you can’t say ‘Oh no’…

JL: “I’m me, I’m me, I’m me… I mean. I do take it as a compliment. I just speak from the heart and I speak with passion. All of us do. We’re not politicians, we’re just ordinary people. That’s all we are.”

Talking of other politicians. David Cameron’s censorship of porn. What do you think of that?

JL: “Well I can see where he’s coming from to a certain extent. We don’t want our kids seeing it and that has to be down to parental consent. My worry is that we’re turning into a panicky ‘nanny state’, that’s my concern. We’re being told what to do. Responsibility, that’s even taken from people. That can’t be right in a democratic society. So yes he’s got a point about protecting kids. I’m not into kids in any way shape or form, they just don’t interest me. I’ve often said that anything to do with kids, I’d rather be given an enema every day, five times a day, until summer 2020. That’s it, period, not interested.”

Similarly, the ban on certain pornography acts in December…

JL: “That was slipped in through Whitehall officials through the back door, it never even went through the House of Commons, that was the issue about it. Once again the decision making process is taken away from people. It was down through the back door. It’s wrong.”

People's online porn habits could become public information in the future. Does that worry you?

JL: “People have got to make their own choices. If you’re over 18 it’s got to be assumed that you know what you’re doing. It’s wrong and dismissive to tell people what they can and can’t do. It’s outrageous. You’ve got to let people get on with their lives.”

Where does this fear of pornography coming from?

JL: “The fear of anything comes from not really knowing. A lot of it has to do with America. It’s such a large country and there’s so many wannabes. I mean come on, look at Fifty Shades of Grey, I mean any guy who suddenly thinks he’s Christian Grey pops out of the woodwork and says I can do this, that and the other. The porn industry’s fairly well controlled in this country, but I’d hate to be in it in America. It’s an absolute mess over there.”

We spoke to your boss Steve Wood, the Bristol Ukip chair yesterday. He said he thought watching Eastenders is worse than porn. Do you agree?

JL: “Well, for some people it probably is! Interestingly enough, soaps are a reflection of everyday lives. I’m in a market where figures are 78.9billion videos viewed in the world, 18.35billion visits to porn sites, so yes there’s a massive audience out there and I’ve got something like a million followers from the USA on one side to China on the other. So it’s a huge, huge industry. It’s massive. If people didn’t want it, it wouldn’t be there. And if people didn’t want me, then I wouldn’t have a million fans. I must be doing something right.”

The other thing that has got people talking is your stage name, ‘Johnny Rockhard’. Just wondered if you’d be able to help us come up with some porn names for the leaders. David Cameron for example…

JL: “Oh my God. Oh nooo… Do you know, I wouldn’t know where to start with those guys. There are so many different names out there, even the people out there, to find the right name that hasn’t already been chosen. Is difficult.”

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