Kevin Moriarty, the husband of the late adult film star August Ames, has reportedly filed a $5 million claim alleging that Ventura County Medical Examiner's officer employees released "salacious personal information" related to the death. The claim was filed with the Ventura County Board of Supervisors by Moriarty and Ames' estate, according to the Blast.
The claim also alleges that county employees attached to the investigation of Ames' death shared "confidential and private" information with multiple media outlets, including details regarding the method and location of her death. The claim precedes a possible lawsuit, which would only occur if the estate and county officials are unable to reach an agreement. Moriarty's $5 million claim says the release of the information in question has caused him "emotional distress," resulting in medical bills.
Ames—whose birth name was Mercedes Grabowski—was found dead from an apparent suicide last December. She had been nominated in multiple categories at this Adult Video News Awards, including Female Performer of the Year. In a post on Ames' official website earlier this month, Moriarty spoke at length about her death, which came after Ames made a comment on Twitter that some deemed homophobic.
"I write this to make it crystal clear: Bullying took her life," he wrote. "If the harassment had not occurred, she would be alive today. She ended her life the day after the bullying began. To think they are unrelated is delusional."
Moriarty also called attention to the adult film industry's treatment of mental health. "While Mercedes did have professional support that cared about her, it was unnecessarily hard for her to find someone who would treat her," he wrote. "Our industry appropriately emphasizes testing and physical health, but the mental health conversation has conveniently been swept under the rug. We need to step up as a business and make this a priority."