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September 20, 2016

IEAU In Turmoil Over Alleged False Filings

LOS ANGELES—This morning, members of the adult industry press received an announcement from Amanda Gullesserian, better known in the adult industry as former actress Phyllisha Anne, which contained the following: "The International Entertainment Adult Union (IEAU) moves forward with two new chartered chapters. 'We are proud to announce The Exotic Dancer Guild and the Adult Film Crew Chapter which have been approved by the U. S. Department of Labor under the IEAU,' states Elisabeth Thomas the IEAU President. 'We are excited to get things moving a little faster now that there are even more adult entertainment people involved... "Serving as President of the Adult Film Crew Chapter is the legendary Rob Spallone. 'Mr. Spallone is an award winning director and producer, with knowledge of every aspect of the adult film business. He has spent most of his life in this industry and we could not have found a better fit to lead the film crew,' stated an enthusiastic Phyllisha Anne, founder of the IEAU.  Officers and board members are; President Rob Spallone, Vice President Jake Jacobs, Secretary Shawna Johnson, Treasurer Marlene Butler, Board Members are; Cass Paley, James Crawford, Shelley Bartolini, and Harry Weiss." To those who have been following the development of the IEAU, the press release was confusing, since it is well known in adult industry circles that the union already had a crew member chapter, designated Local 424, with crewman Shelly Bartolini as its president. Still more confusing was the designation of adult industry veteran Rob Spallone as president of a crew chapter, since as far as anyone knows, Spallone had only been a producer and director during his career in XXX. Similarly, directors Cass Paley and James (Jim) Crawford, and former agent Harry Weiss have also never been employed as crewmen in adult productions. "That's illegal, because I am already the president of the organization [Local 424] and cannot be removed without a hearing, a list of grievances and a vote by my officers on whether I stay or go," said Bartolini of the Spallone "appointment" in an exclusive interview with AVN. "That [Spallone's appointment] is completely illegal in the bylaws of any union, including this one. "Any director or producer can't be in a crew union," Bartolini continued. "That's a conflict of interest, because just like in mainstream, what the union does is protect you against producers and directors." Bartolini noted that since the union has only recently been formed, all officers were appointed at the beginning, but that it still requires an action by the union board to remove an officer. "Everything she's doing, and that whole board she put together, is bullshit," Bartolini continued, referring to Gullesserian. "Basically, what she did was hand Spallone a bunch of money that she's getting paid from AHF [AIDS Healthcare Foundation] that's funding her whole fucking bullshit. ... No crew member is going to follow any of those people. This is coming from a whole board of people that don't work in the industry. I'm out there every day." Bartolini stated that the board of Local 424 is made up of himself as president, veteran camera operator/actor Jake Jacobs as vice president, Marlene Jacobs [Butler] as secretary/treasurer, and veteran crewman Sean Rivera and one other person as board members. Bartolini said he had no idea who alleged "Secretary" Shawna Johnson is. Bartolini's charge that Gullesserian has been in league with AIDS Healthcare has been confirmed by a series of emails between the IEAU founder and Adam Cohen of AHF, beginning in January of this year, as well as transcriptions of conversations between the two wherein Cohen alleged promised that "AHF is willing to support the IEAU any way we can. We can donate money, endorse your applications for other grants, and provide advice and education. We hope that our support of the IEAU means the IEAU will also support AHF's advocacy efforts to protect adult film workers. Lastly, I want to emphasize that we understand if the IEAU feels that working with AHF may hinderyour cause due to adult film industry representatives who are against AHF's involvment in worker protection." Gullesserian responded, "Thank you Adam so so much! Yes the IEAU will support The AHFs efforts any way we can!" According to sources who asked not to be named, a lawsuit alleging that Gullesserian had illegally filed paperwork on behalf of the union to set up the "Adult Film Crew Chapter" is currently in process.

 
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