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The Rising Star of Aria

David Houston
Jarring as it may be to hear the raven beauty with pillow lips and 34Ds discussing market share and corporate diversification, Aria Giovanni is undoubtedly one of adult entertainment's most prolific and industrious stars.

But for Giovanni, she says it's just a part of who she is.

Just back from accompanying her husband, former Marilyn Manson guitarist John 5, on a two-month tour, Giovanni is glad to be back in Los Angeles, where the couple resides with their son and daughter.

The product of a single-parent household in Orange County, Calif., Giovanni is a mix of Italian, Yugoslavian, French, German, Irish and American Indian. And hard as it is to believe, the young porn starlet claims she was shy and unpopular in school, spending much of her time reading National Geographic and drawing.

"Having to socialize was an awkward feeling for me, and I was never really good at it. I never got asked out in high school. I was pretty much unnoticed," she tells fans who visit her website, AriaGiovanni.com, through which she peddles DVDs and posters and auctions off her panties.

While studying biochemistry in college, Giovanni worked as a candy striper, hospital PBX operator and teacher's aide to support herself, but her formal education was cut short when she was discovered by amateur webmasters in San Diego who hired her to model.

Giovanni agreed to model to make a few tuition dollars. She quickly saw how lucrative her looks could be and seized control of her career. In September 2000, with introductions from friends she met in the business, Giovanni was named a Penthouse Pet.

Porn Star Rising
And while the rise from random modeling gigs to becoming a full-time one-woman multi-conglomerate has been a slow and steady climb, the adult starlet takes her business success very seriously and personally oversees deals to sell posters through Sam Goody stores and a recent agreement with Brickhouse Mobile to sell video clips, digital wallpaper and games to mobile telephone subscribers.

In addition, Giovanni produces her own videos that run from the slick to the amateur and from the vanilla to kink.

"If you look at the industry as a whole, female models focus on their modeling and the business side of it is left to someone else," Giovanni said. "That's just not who I am. I have to be personally involved in everything I do."

Put another way: Giovanni is as much a control freak as that other one-woman multi-conglomerate, Martha Stewart.

"I make all the decisions down to what color the pages are and the [type of] font it is going to be," she said.

Clinton Fayling, Brickhouse's co-founder and president, said the company has similar deals to sell products from Wicked Pictures and Falcon Families. Giovanni's presence is an experiment in selling content featuring stars not attached to a major studio, he said.

"She provides us with a chance to experiment a bit," Fayling said. "When you are working with a larger organization, you have to filter down through many levels. In the case of Aria, we pick up the phone and get a 'yes' or 'no' right away."

Fayling said the success or failure of Giovanni's deal would dictate the future of "single property" models in the mobile industry.

"We're really anxious to see how this relationship goes," he said. "We wanted to go after a star who has great name value, and she is that person. She has marketed herself well. She's a very bright businesswoman."

But as for Giovanni's humble beginnings in contrast to her dizzying success as an adult superstar, she has never lost sight of the golden rule of gaining and controlling her own independence.

"I grew up poor. I grew up with nothing," she said. "My mom always told me never depend on a man for anything. And I didn't, and I don't."

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