Anyone who thought 15 minutes was all the time in the spotlight a girl in a celebrity sex scandal could get hasn’t met Gina Rodriguez.
In the year since the Tiger Woods sex scandal exploded, several of the golfer’s former mistresses have banded together in a kind of collaborative venture, led by Rodriguez. The former Playmate, 43-year-old mother of two, and star of numerous adult movies has made a business out of representing some of the sport star’s most notorious liaisons. Becoming a business manager of sorts, Rodriguez has parlayed the “mistress brand” into a reality TV show, and promoted the women’s adult films, memoirs and even a cosmetic line called Shameless.
Among her stable of all-star clients, according to her website, are Joslyn James and Holly Sampson, two porn stars whose exploits with Woods received ample coverage from supermarket tabloids to Vanity Fair. Michelle McGee, the Swastika-wearing, tattoo-emblazoned, sometime paramour of Sandra Bullock’s wayward ex-husband, Jesse James, is also on the company roster, as is Jasmine Waltz, an aspiring actress best known for this impressive trifecta: a semi-nude appearance on the Penthouse-owned website Passions.com; a liaison with David Arquette, and allegedly slugging Lindsay Lohan although she denied it. (“I didn’t hit her, but I’d like to,” she told Access Hollywood in a statement.) And then there is January Gessert, a woman who according to numerous tabloid reports may have helped speed along Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian’s breakup.
The list of clients begs many questions but one in particular: How on earth did Rodriguez wind up as a modern-day hen mother to the one-night stands of virtually every male celebrity currently embroiled in a PR catastrophe?
Since she wrapped up her onscreen adult film career three years ago, Rodriguez (whose nom de porn is Demi Delia) has gone into “management,” and found a comfortable niche helping these women leverage their notoriety into…well…something.
In the version she told me, it all started with Joslyn James, the burgundy-maned adult-video queen with the striking attributes, whose text messages from Woods became the stuff of legend. “I actually was friends with her,” Rodriguez said. “I knew her when all this went down last year, and I got her to California, put her in my home, took care of her for three months, got her to Gloria Allred until we were ready to come out in the press, and from there I started getting other mistresses: Holly Sampson, Jamie Jungers, Loredana Jolie. It just kind of took off.”
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Joslyn James describes Rodriguez as “a mentor” who helped her develop her ambitions. “She said, ‘Don’t you want to do something more?’ I was, like, content in my relationship with Tiger. I was contented [sic] with mediocre.”
“We can laugh, right?” she said. “It’s a year later.”
The version told by other veterans of the adult film industry is somewhat less inspiring. As they describe it, Rodriguez’s current work typifies the new economic reality in Hollywood, one in which young women not only gain money and celebrity the old-fashioned way—by hanging out with the stars—but also cash in after the night is done. With more aggressive online celebrity sites, and tabloid magazines paying top dollar for scoops and tell-all interviews, being Tiger's mistress may be less lucrative than being his ex, which is where Rodriguez comes into the picture.
“She listens to these girls’ sad stories, and convinces them she can get them money,” said Kevin Blatt, the porn fixture who helped sell Paris Hilton’s sex tape. “She’s not getting them out of the business; she’s using these girls who seduce celebrities and peddle stories to the tabloids.”
Another source in the industry said Rodriguez has an extensive history arranging meetings between adult stars and those who wanted to meet them. His former girlfriend, an adult actress, worked with Rodriguez in this way, he said. “If you were looking to spend time with your favorite porn star, a lot of roads led to her,” he said, before pointing me to The Erotic Review, a website where porn aficionados go to set up meetings with their favorite on-screen actresses. ( The New York Times called it the Amazon.com of prostitution.)
There, I was able to find five reviews from clients, who alluded to “Demi Delia’s” terrific work as an escort, as well as scores of messages between what seemed like potential clients and a user identifying herself as “Demidelia,” who insinuated she could connect fans to other personalities in the business.
“Does Rachel Roxxx or Sara Vandella provide?” asked a user named Tits McGee.
“Email me,” responded Demidelia.
“Any pornstars in Vegas this week?” asked Calman32.
“Joslyn James, Morgan Ray, and more” responded Demidelia. “Email me.”
The messages stopped appearing in early 2008, around the time the site’s founder David Elms ran into trouble with the law. (He recently pleaded guilty in state court in Arizona to hiring a hit-man to murder a hooker who was suing him.)
Rodriguez denied any ties to prostitution, and said that both the reviews of her as an escort and the posts by “Demidelia” amounted to a case of identity theft. “I had nothing to do with that, absolutely nothing, and I spent months trying to get [those posts] removed when I found [out about] all of that.” (Indeed, many posts were removed, though I was able to find them by doing a search on something called the Wayback machine, which keeps archives of old Web pages.)
“Ms. Rodriguez vehemently denies any acts of prostitution or purveying in the acts of prostitution, i.e., acting as a madam or a so-called madam,” said her attorney Keith Davidson in a phone conversation. “To the extent that Ms. Rodriguez ever assisted in putting couples together, it was only for completely lawful and legitimate purposes.”
Rodriguez says her business project is really about giving her clients a “fresh start,” whether that means a bit part in a mainstream movie or simply a new set of breast implants.
“Helping the girls has been really great. It makes me feel good,” she said.
Making the most of her particular “brand,” Rodriguez recently sent a slew of her clients out on a “Girls of Scandal” tour. She also helped get a pilot for an upcoming reality-TV show off the ground. The premise for Mistresses Makeover is James, Jamie Jungers, Holly Sampson, and other Rodriguez girls getting plastic surgery together.
Other business ventures include two Woods-themed adult films with Joslyn James for Vivid Video, one of them co-starring Holly Sampson and Devon James (a woman who Rodriguez said was another client until recently). “We can laugh, right?” she said. “It’s a year later.”
James is also selling a cosmetics line called Shameless on her website, and she’s writing a memoir, though its arrival at Barnes and Noble doesn’t appear to be imminent. “We are in talks with the publisher now,” said Rodriguez, who perhaps should write her own book.
According to Rodriguez, she is the estranged daughter of a Mexican mafioso named Michael Anthony Delia, and her story begins in Chatsworth, California. It was, as she said, “the porn capital of the world,” and the place where she grew up. After six months, she dropped out of community college, bounced from job to job, posed in Playboy and opened tanning and nail salons. She eventually married a porn star named Randy Spears, with whom she opened a production company and performed with on-screen. (They’ve since divorced.)
She quickly found work with major studios like Wicked but said she didn’t like the work. “I did everything I could do to keep myself out of shooting scenes, trying to get out of the business, she said. “It just wasn’t my cup of tea.”
After wrapping up her on-screen career in 2007, she began focusing on her new business, and increased her profile with a reality-TV show titled Mommy XXX, which is developed by Sony Pictures Television and distributed on Crackle.com and Hulu. J.C. Spink, a producer on The Hangover and the Oscar-nominated A History of Violence, has signed on as her manager, she said.
Reality TV, she added, is a godsend. “Thank God for that,” she said. “I don’t really think any of these girls would have a chance without it.”
Jacob Bernstein is a senior reporter at The Daily Beast. He has also written for New York magazine, Paper, and The Huffington Post.