Mug shot

Gram Ponante
So I was walking to work with my laptop bag and my coffee this morning at about 11:30. Today's job was covering a porn shoot.

The director Jennifer James was talking with the performer Kurt Lockwood, who was sitting in a white rental Murano in the middle of Willow Street in downtown Los Angeles.

I was there to attend the filming of James' effort for the new company Egoist Entertainment.

Lockwood spotted me as I was about to walk into the filming location at 1317 Willow.

"Hey motherfucker," he said.

Since my best friends call me a motherfucker from time to time, I felt no threat. I approached the car and said, "How's it going?"

"Oh, don't tell me you don't know who I am," he said. "You called me a fag. You guys got the balls to call me one to my face?"

I've never called Lockwood a fag, but he was probably thinking of other people who may have had occasion to write about him.

I certainly have written about Lockwood, and not all of it has been positive. Some of it, in fact, has been ridiculous. I can only write about how his "Kurt Lockwood" persona appears.

Anyway, it quickly became clear that Lockwood was angry.

"When did I call you a fag?" I asked.

"Try to spin this now, motherfucker! Call me a fag now!" he said, getting out of the car.

"Do you know who I am?" I asked, meaning Do you have me confused with someone who actually called you a fag?

Jennifer James was murmuring, "Now guys - "

He got out of his car and into my face. He was wearing sunglasses.

"I never called you a fag..." I said, realizing that wasn't the point, anyway.

"Oh, you're going to deny it now?" he said, shoving me.

No one has physically assaulted me since ninth grade. I thought of putting down my bag and my coffee, because he was making a show of taking his shirt off. I decided to keep my bag and just throw coffee at him.

Useless. He was still shoving. A small crowd gathered. I thought, "If he takes a swing, I'll put my bag down."

But he didn't. More shoving. More ridiculous. But ridiculous in a dangerous way, and I was still stuck with the question of whether or not to put my bag down and engage in this. Who would take my bag and keep it from being run over in the road? The people not stopping the fight?

My coffee was almost gone. I kept lightly throwing it in Lockwood's face, but then I knocked his glasses off with the cup, and broke my thermos that I got for Christmas. On the drive over, I'd been thinking about how much I liked this thermos and how I hadn't thanked my sister for it. Now if she asks me I'll have to say, "You know that web page you read at least once a week but act like I can't track your IP address in my stats? You'll find the whole story in there."

Don't get me wrong - I continue to have a nice bruise on my chest where Lockwood shoved me. But all through the altercation I was, in fact, thinking about what I'd write about it.

We were holding up traffic. A van honked and the occupant yelled something at Lockwood. Lockwood turned on the passenger. The show was over.

This provided a seque. A man in black walked over to me wearing a black cowboy hat. He introduced himself as the owner of the production company that had hired James, Egoist Entertainment. I was escorted into the building. In addition to the people on the street, people had been lined up against the windows on the second floor, watching.

I wondered why no one had made a move to break up the fracas, but then I wondered if everyone thought that this sort of thing just blows over. Someone inside told me that the reason James was outside talking with Lockwood was that Lockwood had threatened the building manager earlier (something about Lockwood not being allowed to bring his dog on the set).

In that the police were not called immediately and Lockwood ejected for the earlier threat, I wondered if people didn't take the dude seriously. Is he the way he is because he feels people don't take him seriously?

I took Lockwood seriously. Before, I thought his various outbursts had some calculation to them, but now I thought he was insane, or off his meds. I take people like that very seriously.

Inside, people were subdued. The American actor James Bartholet rehearsed a scene with Sunny Lane. Luke Ford announced he had taken video of the assault, but I asked him not to post it.

"Why?" he asked.

"Just don't post it. I will be angry with you if you do."

Luke Ford, of course, posted it almost immediately, and I may end up thanking him for providing documentary evidence. Stranger things have happened.

Jennifer James asked for a word with me. We sat down. At this point I had heard about Lockwood's threat against the building manager and naturally assumed that Lockwood would be sent home, just for the well-being of the cast and crew.

"Gram, you were the first person to do a comprehensive interview with me," James said (it was in XBiz). "And I hope there's something I can do to make this up to you. But I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

The cowboy hat guy and the production manager arrived.

"This is our first production," Cowboy Hat said, "and we can't just replace people that fast, and he (Lockwood) was already an hour late," he said. He said that when he produced mainstream commercials, he could replace people really quickly, but he was learning that porn was different.

"So he assaulted me but you're asking me to leave?" I asked. I just wanted to make sure.

"Well, I mean, you say you didn't say something but he says you did..." James said.

"It's like 'He Said, She Said'," Cowboy Hat offered. (I noticed at this point that people were shying from the fact of their presence at the melee.)

I mentioned that whatever I said or didn't say had nothing to do with the fact that Kurt Lockwood assaulted me. Did I punch XBiz when they added a "self-proclaimed" before describing me as America's Beloved Porn Journalist? No I did not.

But I saw their point: if the performers had already showed up (which is half the battle in porn), and the location and crew had already been rented, then it was really important to keep Lockwood rather than send him home or call the police. In this industry, people live on razor-thin margins. Cancelling a shoot day is very expensive.

They told me that Lockwood had to be somewhere at 5 p.m. so could I come back?

Cowboy Hat also offered me dinner.

I had asked for an escort to my car ("somebody really classy," I said. "If she thinks she's a hooker, then she is a hooker"), because I thought that anyone who would pick a fight in the street for something that didn't happen might also aim a car at me.

The production manager walked me out, but Lockwood was already in the building. Inside that building, among peers who felt they had no other choice, Lockwood was being taken seriously.

So that's how I'm spinning it.

Previously: Lockwood's appearances on this site

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