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December 02, 2015

Joanna Angel Recounts Details of Relationship With Deen

LOS ANGELES—Industry icon Joanna Angel took to SiriusXM's "The Jason Ellis Show" Wednesday afternoon to divulge details of her six-year relationship with currently embattled fellow adult superstar James Deen. Angel has been a regular on Ellis' show for several years, but today was different. Today, rather than avert the topic of Deen as she has steadfastly done in Ellis' studio and all other public forums since she and Deen split up in 2011, she lifted the floodgate. And what a flood. For nearly 90 minutes, an audibly shaken Angel poured out a gut-wrenching, chilling portrait of essentially a years-long imprisonment of perpetual fear and humiliation. Before the tales began, both Ellis and Angel took caution to stress that Deen at this point has not been formally charged with any crime, and Angel further noted that "these are my experiences. I want to make it 100 percent clear that this does not represent porn, this represents a specific individual, and I do not want the public to blame the industry. There are bad eggs in every industry." Explaining that she met Deen when they were both very new to the business, and that she "liked what he looked like, especially compared to other men in the industry," Angel recollected, "The first movie that I did for another company, I requested him. I liked the aggressive way that he had sex. I was very shy, there were a lot of sexual things I wanted to experience, because I was inexperienced. I was very interested in rough sex and experimenting with BDSM. We did a scene together and we started to date. It was seemingly normal." At the time, Angel was living in New York and commuting to Los Angeles for work. As the relationship with Deen began to become more serious, she said, he told her that if she wanted to take it to the next level, she would have to move to L.A. full time. And so she did. "As soon as I moved in, I started seeing red flags," Angel asserted. "He started getting extremely controlling about who I could work with, who I could hang out with. And he did whatever the fuck he wanted. It was an open relationship that was only open on his side." It was also an almost draconian master/slave relationship, according to Angel's account. "I even had to ask permission to masturbate, because masturbation was cheating," she revealed. On top of that, "he made it very clear that it was not us moving in together, I was moving into his house. He had trust issues. Stupid things would happen where he would just flip out on me. I felt like I was just walking on eggshells all the time." As for their sex life, Angel said, "In the beginning we had a lot of rough sex, because it was something I was interested in. I was interested in being kinky in bed, but it was something that didn't end when it was over. He wanted me to be a full-time submissive." She recalled one night when "we were haveing sex and then he dragged me by the hair over to the sink and filled up the sink with water and kept dunking my head into the water. We didn't have a safe word or anything like that. I didn't know you had to have that. I would tap him to pick my head up, and the first couple times he did. And then at one point he dunked my head under the water and it started to feel like forever. I started to think, 'I'm going to die here.' Finally he picked my head up and I started crying, and he threw me on the floor and said, 'You're a horrble submissive. I'm bored, I'm going to go fuck someone else,' and he left. This was probably in year one." The self-evident question many might ask in light of such revelations is, as Ellis interjected at one point, "So how fucked up were you to stay there?" "I had just moved across the country, and I don't know," Angel struggled to explain. "I think I got a little bit excited at times by the control. I was excited to be loved by someone, and I thought he couldn't be this crazy with me forever. I was lonely. I felt very trapped. There were times when I did fear for my safety, but I just felt trapped." In addition to the control, Angel reported routine belittlement by Deen. She remembered him once saying to her, "You went to college, why are you trying so hard to be a whore? I want to respect you, and I don't respect girls in porn, they're just holes for me to stick my dick in and then go home." She added, "He just always told me I was horrible in bed. I just felt weak, and I felt that it was my fault. He always made me feel that there was something wrong with me, not with our relationship." Nevertheless, she hung in—though as time went by, she found herself less able to cope on her own. "About three years in or four years in, I started seeing a therapist," Angel continued, "and it was a goal in therapy to get out of the relationship. It's so hard to think of myself in that period of time. I felt so worn down and so weak, and I didn't feel like a real person. "I would call my sister in the middle of the night, and I would just say, 'Would you just tell me that I'm a person, would you just tell me that I'm human?' I felt like I was a dog and I couldn't do anything without permission from my owner." All the while, she related, "He's cheating on me constantly. He didn't think it was cheating, because in his mind he was being honest about what he was doing, and he didn't think I could handle him telling me about it." At the same time, she said he expected her to report her whereabouts and activities to him continuously. "He kept blaming it on trust, because I had lost his trust for whatever reason," she said. And in one instance, when she posed for a picture during a promotional party in New York, she became terrified of what his reaction would be when he saw it, because she knew he would not be pleased with it—in the picture, a couple of band musicians were biting her exposed nipples. "He had really gotten inside my head, and I felt like I had cheated on him," Angel said. "I was shaking for days like I was harboring some horrible secret." And when he finally did see the photo, she went on, he "threw me out of the house. And I'm just sitting outside, and I didn't know what to do. I just kind of sat on the lawn crying hysterically for house and hours. And finally he let me in, but he only let me in the garage, and he basically told me, 'You've lost your privilege to be a human. You're not allowed out of the house without me, because I obviously can't trust you.' "So that lasted a really long time, I was basically like a prisoner," she attested. "He would constantly remind me, 'I could be with anyone. All I have to do is look in a girl's direction and she will want to be with me. It is a privilege and an honor to be with me, and you are on a tight leash here, because if you fuck up once, you're gone.'" Perhaps most unsettling of all the accounts Angel offered during the show was this: "More than once I woke up in the middle of the night to him choking me in his sleep, and he didn't know that he was doing it. And he wouldn't remember it. "We lived in the middle of nowhere, and I thought, 'If I screamed, would anyone hear me?'" Later in the broadcast, Angel's close friend and BurningAngel regular Jessie Lee joined the conversation to add some testimony about the behavior she's witnessed from Deen over the years. "He's such a fucking monster," she professed. "He'll get in your head, and then he'll be nice to you and make you forget what a monster he is. And he did that to her for six years. "He had this way of getting in everyone's heads. I stopped wanting to stay with them because he was so mean to her." At long last, in 2011, Angel summoned the courage to move out—prompted, she said, by what appeared to be a new blossoming romance between Deen and another adult performer. Over the next year, she continued to see him, and they even went to couples therapy together, but finally she cut off all ties. Meanwhile, once the relationship was completely finished, Deen's public profile suddenly skyrocketed. "After we broke up, he got really famous and made a lot more money," Angel said. And since that time, she's been perplexed by the image he's cultivated. "At some point he became revered as like a feminist, and it angered me," she imparted. "I was reading about it in a magazine and I threw the magazine. I was like, 'There are a lot of men in porn that are wonderful and love women, and why did they latch onto him?' And this is when I'm in therapy three days a week with severe PTSD for being beat down like a puppy dog for years." She added, "I remember once the movie Fifty Shades of Grey came out, I was like, 'This is going to make what he does more OK. People are going to watch this movie and like what he does even more.' And it happened." Angel said she's now at a happy point in her life, and it's taken a lot of work to get there. "It took a lot of therapy and time, and people say, 'You must have liked the abuse,' and I did not like the abuse. I'm not a fucked-up porn star with a history of abuse." She noted that she's also benefited from reestablishing her friendship with Stoya, Deen's most recent ex-girlfriend, whose Twitter posts Saturday accusing him of rape set off the firestorm in which he's currently embroiled. "Becoming friends with Stoya really helped me. And I encouraged her to go get therapy. I was like, 'You have to.' And it has helped me. I felt crazy in the beginning, because everybody loved him, and they looked at me funny when I would say bad things about him. And I thought, 'Maybe I was crazy. What is wrong with me? Why does everybody love him and I think he's so awful?'" For Ellis' part, after hearing Angel's long tale of woe, he posited, "Don't take this the wrong way but I'm worried about him. He's very dark. He sounds like a very sick man." "He knows there's something wrong with him," she responded. "We went to a party one night, and he was kind of drunk, and he basically admitted that one of his fears in life was that everybody would see Bryan [Deen's real first name] and not James. And it was hard for him to put on a fake face all the time." Angel commended the adult companies that have already announced they are severing ties with Deen; asked what she would like to see happen to him, she said, "I would love for him to not be around the industry anymore. It seems like it's going in that direction, but who knows? We have a very diverse industry, and if people want to hire him and girls want to work with him, I can't stop that." She also commented on his now discontinued advice column for TheFrisky.com, "He had a relationship column! When I saw that, I puked." Once again, Angel stressed, "I'm not accusing him of a crime. He's an asshole, and he was a horrible boyfriend. He knows he was a shitty boyfriend." Since Stoya's allegations appeared, a series of similar ones from other women have continued to surface through today. Director Greg Lansky also announced today during a Reddit AMA that he will no longer be employing Deen in his movies. Multiple requests by AVN to Deen for comment have gone unanswered.

 
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