Ron Jeremy Is Under Investigation for Sexual Assault. And People Are Worried About His Tree.
The internet became enamored of the legendary porn star’s plea to save his childhood tree. But The Daily Beast has learned he is under investigation for multiple sexual assaults.
“I need your help,” wrote legendary porn star Ron Jeremy. “Help me save my tree.”
You see, this tree is not like other trees. If Jeremy is to be believed, it was planted by his father in his home turf of Bayside, Queens, the very day he was born. So the 67-year-old, who’s no stranger to brazen publicity stunts, fired off a last-gasp plea to his 100,000-plus followers, telling them to “let Con Edison know that they cannot tear down this tree.” The entreaty, naturally, went viral (porn star, wood, har har), resulting in tens of thousands of retweets and likes, vaulting ‘Ron Jeremy’ to the top of Twitter’s trending topics; plus online petitions, as well as fawning media coverage painting the hirsute “Hedgehog” as a folk hero. The headline in his local paper read, “Porn star’s beloved wood getting axed.”
Nearly all of the tongue-in-cheek press neglected to mention a disturbing fact about Jeremy: He has been accused of sexual assault by over a dozen women—including 10 adult performers and two journalists—and is persona non grata in the adult world, having been banned from the AVN Awards (the Oscars of porn), the XBIZ Awards, and Exxotica conventions.
And The Daily Beast has learned that the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office is currently investigating a number of new sexual assault allegations against Jeremy. “Sexual assault allegations against Ron Jeremy are under review by our office. No filing decision has been made,” Greg Risling, the DA’s public information officer, told The Daily Beast. (Jeremy, through his manager, declined comment for this story.)
While the #MeToo movement has successfully removed a number of powerful predators from the work environments they’ve so cruelly exploited, the same cannot be said for the adult industry, which has yet to see the same level of accountability.
After being accused by over a dozen women of sexual assault, James Deen is still winning adult industry awards. Meanwhile Markus Dupree, who is alleged to have roughed up August Ames prior to her suicide, was recently named a Brazzers contract star. In the case of Jeremy, who’s been repeatedly accused of groping and digitally penetrating women without their consent, though he’s been banished from most high-profile adult industry events he still films on occasion, and still has a dedicated legion of online fans who are either blissfully ignorant or just plain don’t care about the horrific allegations against him. And their pernicious views are reinforced by a society (and government) that treats sex workers as second-class citizens, whether it’s targeting their bank accounts or ignoring their cries for help. It’s no wonder that so many have recently turned up dead.
So you can only imagine how troubling it must have been for women in the adult industry to see the internet gush over Ron Jeremy and his tree. Janice Griffith, a prominent adult film actress and writer, called out the disconnect on Twitter, writing, “Did Ron tweet this in between bouts of sexually harassing people? He’s banned from almost all industry events for groping people without consent.”
It was particularly gross for Griffith to see given her personal history with Jeremy. “Ron Jeremy groped me when I was a teenager. I did not give consent, he did not look sober, he didn’t care when I pulled his hand out of my crotch,” Griffith told The Daily Beast.
Griffith was not the only adult film star to be taken aback by Jeremy’s reception online. “It’s truly horrifying for me to see men who are predators glamorized,” said Tasha Reign. “Men who commit these crimes of assault should be punished for their actions but unfortunately, with our current legal system, it’s extremely challenging to prove sex crimes. That needs to change.”
Three years ago, The Daily Beast—along with Rolling Stone—reported on the sexual assault allegations against Jeremy. In a piece by our columnist Aurora Snow, two women came forward to say that they had been manhandled by Jeremy. One, a 22-year-old promotional model for a radio station named Kristin Brodie, described their interaction as follows:
He turned me around and started sucking on the back of my neck while still groping me and tapping his fingers and trying to push them through the [underwear] cloth. At this point I start looking around for anyone to do something because it’s pretty clear on my face that I’m in distress. I was looking for anybody that could register on their face what I was feeling, and all I was met with were faces looking on like a car accident was happening, and there wasn’t going to be any help. His bodyguard started making a couple of moves towards me—he could tell I was distressed—and then Ron Jeremy says, ‘I’ll back off in a sec, I’ll back off in a sec,’ and his bodyguard made no more moves towards us. And I realized nothing would be done until he was done doing what he wanted.
Brodie reported the incident to the police, but the Tacoma City Attorney’s Office declined to press charges against him. In a statement at the time, Jeremy said, in part: “If you were going to be around Ron Jeremy, wouldn’t you assume that I’d be a little bit touchy feely? Yes. This is what I do for a living.”
In the same Daily Beast story, a prominent adult film actress (who wished to remain nameless to avoid industry retaliation) echoed other women’s claims concerning Jeremy’s feeling entitled to women’s bodies, recalling how her introduction to Jeremy was an assault.
The first time I met him on set he put his fingers in my pussy unexpectedly. I was brand new, outside smoking a cigarette and he comes out just being Ron Jeremy. All of a sudden he’s fingering me, and I’m like, whoa. He was just there as an extra on set, he wasn’t even there performing. We joke about it—there’s Ron, stay five feet away from him because he does that. We don’t think anything of it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t even register. It’s like, oh great, another girl got groped by Ron Jeremy, join the club.
Adult film actress and writer Sydney Leathers also couldn’t believe how the predatory Jeremy was being received online. “I’m personally happy Ron Jeremy has a tree to focus his attention on instead of groping women,” she remarked.
Well, despite his protestations, the tree’s days are numbered. And with any luck, Ron Jeremy’s will be too.