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In the days since writer and adult film star Stoya accused fellow porn star and former boyfriend James Deen of rape on Twitter, more women have come forward with their own alleged instances of sexual assault. As the controversy continued to grow, several major porn companies quickly distanced themselves from Deen with statements of support for the alleged victims. In her first interview since coming forward with the allegations against Deen, Stoya tells the Guardian she simply couldn't stand the thought of Deen claiming another victim.
"I couldn’t bear the thought anymore," Stoya says, "that there might be something terrible happening to yet another woman at his hands, or more likely, at his cock, that she didn’t want, because I kept quiet. I couldn’t." Stoya says she arrived in Serbia just days before posting the tweets, where she was set to begin work on a movie. Nightmares were stirring her awake, she says, as the film’s subject matter (a woman raped by someone that she knows) brought up painful memories of her ex. "If I don’t say it now, then, when am I?" Stoya says of her ultimate decision to come forward. "Am I just going to carry it around for the rest of my life and keep it secret? Because secrets aren’t really a thing that I do."
Stoya's decision to use Twitter was a conscious one, she says, spurred by the fact that she still sees younger people idolizing her past relationship with Deen using #RelationshipGoals. She hasn't, however, been reading the replies:
Nobody was saying anything. And I didn’t feel like I could say anything. But from what I hear – because I am not looking at my Twitter mentions – the way the public conversation is going is shockingly good in some ways. But also there is ‘Well, you know you can’t rape a sex worker,’ or ‘She still defends porn when she was raped by a pornographer’ – everybody has got their own fucking agenda, and that’s why I was scared to say something. I don’t know the reasons for other women, why they felt they had to keep quiet, but it just got to be too much.
"It’s not just a porn problem," Stoya adds. "It’s not just an entertainment problem. It’s easy to look at Bill Cosby and think ‘Oh, he had access.’ No. It happens fucking everywhere." When asked how she would describe the alleged rape now, which she says took place in San Francisco, Stoya stresses the emotional aftermath of such violence in the face of a world that largely chooses to misrepresent the adult film industry:
If you hold someone down and fuck them while they say ‘no’ and ‘stop’ and use their fucking safeword, that is rape. But when it first happened, I felt numb. And I went to work the next day. And I went to work the day after that. And I did a scene with him two days after, maybe three days after, I’m not sure. Then I felt like I’d been violated by someone I trusted.
Read the full interview here.