James Deen has given his first interview since several women accused him of sex abuse, saying he is "shocked" by the claims.
Deen made the comments in an emailed interview with the The Daily Beast's Aurora Snow. Deen agreed to the interview, which was published Tuesday, on the condition it was published in its entirety, the website said.
"I am not the subject of any lawsuits, I am not under criminal investigation, and at this moment I have no intention of filing defamation suits against false accusations," Deen said.
Addressing specific claims by former girlfriend Stoya — who tweeted that "he held me down and fucked me while I said no, stop, used my safeword" — Deen said he was "completely baffled" and "can’t speak to her motivations."
Deen pointed to "public articles all over the internet, written by her, that make the exact opposite claims."
He also speculated over what he believes could have prompted Stoya to make the accusations, saying it “could be as simple as her finding out that my current girlfriend and I are moving in together. We have mutual friends, one of our friends notified Stoya of this information. It could be as calculated as Stoya trying to drive traffic to her website.”
He also said that the context of the scenes being filmed at the time of the claims needed to be taken into account: "At a certain point I feel like people have to step back and analyze this stuff in context. Most of these are descriptions of things on BDSM or rough sex sets.
"When I am on set I am under instruction of the company who is paying me. I could describe the events of the scene I was in the other day and it could be just as dramatic."
Later in the interview, he also emphasized that the environment a scene was being shot in might alter his performance: “The type of content desired by the person who is paying me changes the types of performances I create, and the type of performance desired would be enhanced by the environment, so a smart producer/director would ensure to create the right environment to dictate the type of performance they want.”
He also provided The Daily Beast with an outtake (not linked to in the article) from a scene with Stoya shot "far after" the alleged rape occurred.
In the footage, The Daily Beast said, Deen slaps Stoya in the face during a sex scene and immediately stops when she asks him to. Deen said in the footage, “All you have to say is that you don’t want to do it, then we won’t do it.”
When asked about jokes making light of rape he'd posted on Twitter, Deen said that "finding humor in horror is a coping mechanism I use," but that "doesn’t mean I condone negative behavior."
"I operate outside of the overly-PC public world we live in," he said. "I’m not PC. But making a rape joke does not make one a rapist."
Addressing a claim by ex-girlfriend Joanna Angel that she thought she was "going to die" when Deen "started dunking [her] head in the water" while they were having sex, he said: "There are certain exaggerations and inaccuracies in these stories."
He added: "However, I will absolutely admit to being an emotionally insensitive boyfriend. I will admit to being immature. I will admit to being an overall jerk."
Deen said that he had no sense that he had violated limits or boundaries until recently, and said he had remained friends with some of the women with "no mention of this until now."
He added that he believed some of the claims may have amounted from a failure of communication on set: "I don’t want to blame other people, especially the victim, but if people don’t communicate things when they’re happening then it is not possible to honor retroactive boundaries."
He said that in the adult film industry, there exists a "pressure on sets for people to perform in certain ways that they may later regret," and called for "a better structure for preventing and reporting on set misconduct."
Asked why the allegations were coming to light now, Deen said: "Multiple women have told me journalists have offered them up to five thousand dollars for stories about me.
"Any description of a porn scene can be made to sound sensational. Again, I’m not blaming the victim and if anything ever happened that was over the line I want to apologize and ensure that when communicated these things DO NOT HAPPEN."
He added: "I have never claimed to be a feminist or a nice guy, or the boy next door or anything like that. I am a pornographer. It’s all I ever wanted to be. I believe in respect and equality and doing unto others but that does not make me anything more than a pornographer who believes in these values."
He also said that he felt he was "an easy place to place the blame" for "well-documented" issues rife at certain porn studios.
Despite the allegations, Deen said: "I have very few regrets. I love my job and I pride myself in what I do."
He added: "I won’t throw my ex-girlfriends under a metaphorical bus because I made the choice to date them. I know what I did and what I didn’t do."
Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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