06.16.11

Weiner Porn Star’s Mystery Past

Why no one remembers the performer linked with Weiner, despite her more than 50 adult films.

As a supporting cast member in the sexting controversy that felled now-former Congressman Anthony Weiner, former adult-film performer Ginger Lee found a level of fame that eluded her during her years toiling in the adult industry.

Lee is credited with performing in more than 50 porn films released between 2004 and 2010. Among her self-explanatory titles: Her First Lesbian Sex 14, T and A Buffet, and Barefoot Confidential 44.

Yet, despite the years and credits, few in the adult industry were aware of Lee before the scandal, highlighting just how strangely anonymous this otherwise naked industry can be. Dan Miller, managing editor of industry trade publication XBIZ, explains that he hardly knew of Lee before the scandal made her a star, despite her prolific filmography. “The big-name girls do 50 DVD titles in a matter of months,” says Miller. Lee did not respond to an attempt to contact her through Twitter.

There’s also the problem of Lee’s porn moniker: Ginger Lee is one of the more common names on the circuit. Variations abound: there’s Ginger Lea, Ginger Lee Grace, Ginger Li, Ginger Lixxx, and of course, Ginger Lynn, the now-48-year-old blond vixen who took the ‘80s porn world by storm and later appeared in American Pie Presents Band Camp. According to Miller, “Lee would fall in with the majority of the talent in this industry that comes and goes, and will not make a lasting impact and have recognition.”

Sex on a porn set does not involve much chitchat, and Lee was never part of the porn social world.

Still, everyone knows someone in the porn world—that’s how they get hired in the first place. In Lee’s case, however, no one is talking. One of Lee’s former managers, Bad Ass Frank, declined to be interviewed for this story because he no longer works in the industry. But he noted that his Kindle book on Amazon.com has chapters that mention Lee for the curious. Her former agency, Adult Talent Managers, also declined to comment.

Perhaps it’s just that there’s not much to say. Three former performers reached by The Daily Beast who are listed in credits as having co-starred with Lee have no memory of meeting her. Sex on a porn set does not involve much chitchat, and Miller of XBIZ says that Lee was never part of the porn social world. “I never saw her hanging out or at industry parties.”

Among the hundreds of women who appear in adult films, Lee was a wisp in the wind during her porn years. Perhaps for Lee, as for many of these women, that was the plan: to cash out one day with her anonymity relatively intact. One former performer, whose credits indicate that she appeared with Lee in a 2007 film, explained: “I no longer want people to know the name of that porn star. I am sure [Lee] felt the same way.” Yet she did not remember meeting Lee either.

Lee’s new celebrity, however, has changed all that. Tabloid fame can instantly alter a marginal porn star’s afterlife. Within 12 hours of Lee’s name appearing on TMZ, an adult-film company put together a 20 percent discounted five-pack from the previously neglected Ginger Lee oeuvre. Pulse Distribution’s Lewis Adams makes no apologies for his opportunism: “When someone hits the lottery by banging a Charlie Sheen or having an affair with a Tiger Woods, we take their 15 minutes and try to capitalize on that and stretch it to three weeks. We are a media company and we read TMZ.”

Adams notes that even should Lee never return to porn, she will be able to raise her price at stripping gigs. And, if she does choose to return to adult movies to exploit her fame, Miller says Lee will have the keys to the castle. “Now she can ask for more money, and now she can be the girl on the cover of the DVD box,” he says. “The reality is that she is now a name that people will recognize next time she wants to work.”