Okay, so here’s the deal. XBIZ, along with virtually anyone in the adult industry, received this email from Lucas Entertainment president Michael Lucas on Thursday, November 8. It was posted on his blog and sent out to — well, everyone in his address book, I guess.
I decided to hold off on printing it on XBIZ’s site because I am waiting for the lawsuit to end so Michael can reveal the documentation that allegedly proves that Raging Stallion is at fault. I would rather be accurate than timely. If that makes sense.
Take a look at the letter below. This is the original letter sent out to the industry — I have left it intact, so that readers can judge for themselves something that’s really nobody’s business.
The film in question is Lucas’ “Michael Lucas’ La Dolce Vita,” the movie that won him 14 GAYVN Awards (which the Lucas PR machine reminds me of all the time). Lucas is in the process of a lawsuit with International Media Films, a company who, Lucas states, claims they own the rights to Federico Fellini’s 1960 film masterpiece of the same name.
(I want to state FOR THE RECORD that I know both Chris Ward and Michael Lucas and I am not on a side. I’m simply trying to understand what the hell is going on.)
This is a letter for friends and colleagues, for those who know me well and not so well, for those who agree with me on many issues and those who do not, for both supporters and opponents of mine.
It’s been nearly a year since this baseless, pointless, frivolous lawsuit has been torturing me and my employees.
Demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars, my accusers have on numerous occasions claimed that they know that my film made millions of dollars for me, citing a ‘very reliable source,’ that knows the industry from within. I viewed this as mere gossip, but my accusers chose to believe it, despite my repeated offers to let my accusers’ accountants review our books and see the earnings of my films for themselves.
Under pressure from my lawyers, the ‘very reliable source’ was revealed. This mysterious ‘source’ that supposedly knows my business so well turns out to be none other than Raging Stallion. The relevant documentation can not yet be made public. But I knew anyway from other sources that Raging Stallion is inaccurately and maliciously representing that I am making millions of dollars in sales, including foreign sales, and accusing me of illegally duplicating Fellini’s film in China. They are advising the party suing me not to trust me. The list of lies is long.
It was bad enough that, boiling from jealousy and hate, Raging Stallion, including its co-owner G.C. Slader [sic], threw ice cubes at me while I was receiving my best picture award in 2006. But it was worse when Raging Stallion co-owner Chris Ward posted a nasty piece on his blog, analyzing the law suit against me in detail, predicting it would close my company. (Mr. Big Mouth’s aims were clear to me when I read that). But maliciously to lie about my company’s income to a third party that is suing me!? To mislead the prosecution by lying about sales figures!?
Let’s face it; we in this business all know very well that one can not make millions with a safe-sex film with a foreign title, no matter how many awards the film might receive. We all know that these awards are not the Oscars! God, we know! We all know all of that so well, with the limited media coverage we receive for the awards and the little clubs/theaters in which the award ceremonies are held. They are important for the industry and for the industry only!
Of these "brave" boys of Raging Stallion I ask; why are you so consistently going after me?? Is your business not keeping you happy? Are your finances that bad? Are your shameless, pathetically written press releases that useless? Or are you motivated to these petty, malicious actions by having lost the damned awards? Did it get to you so bad that you’ve made the most-nominated film in history into the most unprofitable one? With the money I have had to spend on the legal defense in this year alone, I could have made parts 3, 4 and 5.
It’s not only money that the pooping horses at Raging Stallion have pushed me to waste. Hundreds of hours wasted in discoveries, attorney conference calls, depositions, court appearances; 2 of my office employees and I have been deposed for hours on end. That is not to mention the sleepless nights caused me by this, and the depression over the precious time that Raging Stallion has robbed me of spending with my mother who is dying of cancer.
I am apologizing in advance to industry journalists, company heads, accountants, sales people, distributors and others for the eventuality of my having to subpoena you in this regard in the future. But if that becomes necessary, the fault for it being necessary will rest squarely on Raging Stallion. It is Raging Stallion that has maliciously convinced a third party with no knowledge of our industry that in 2007 one can make millions of dollars with a porn film. I had no plans whatsoever for seeking such subpoenas before I gained knowledge of this shameful communication between Raging Stallion and the company suing me.
As for the law suit itself; there was no wrong doing on my part. Under the Constitution, I have a right to create a parody, and I had a right to call my film Michael Lucas’ La Dolce Vita. But aided and abetted by Raging Stallion, the entity suing me is bringing a frivolous law suit against me.
In my opinion this was the lowest of the low, even for Raging Stallion, but I do want to know your opinion. I thank you in advance for your support, as I believe there is a point in time when keeping silent becomes a fault and each of you can be stabbed in the back just like I was.
And so began the shot heard round the world — with those 805 words, the 3000-Mile War had begun….
(music swells, extreme close-up, dramatic bum-bum-BUM!)
Well, wow. It’s obvious that whatever documentation Lucas holds sounds pretty damning. I have a contact who has seen said documents and claims that Lucas does have a case. However, would it be frivolous for him to follow through with it? How far would he be willing to take this?
And just what the hell is it?!?
I am a bit confused as to his reasoning for putting this out there. Why make an announcement like this without having the proof to back it up? Or is it just another instance of the Lucas PR Machine at work? If you can’t release the documents claiming what really happened — why stir the pot? Why not wait until you have all your ducks in a row before making such damning accusations?
And why share it with all of us? Are we really supposed to believe that ML is doing this so that the industry won’t be “stabbed in the back” like he was?
Or was it just a slow press week?
He asks for our opinion but does he really want it? Or is he already rallying his side of the troops? (p.s. I just love how he states that subpoenas will probably all be issued to We The Press — although I’m pretty sure I dodged a bullet there — and that, in essence, we must blame Raging Stallion. Oy, the Drah-MA!!)
Someone in the industry told me the other day: “It looks like Michael’s not taking his medication today…”
That, in itself, is an accusation that my industry friend has no proof of. Is he perpetuating something that may or may not be true? Is he just spreading unfounded rumors? Where have I heard that before….?
So Chris Ward, president of Raging Stallion Studios, responded….
RAGING STALLION’S RESPONSE
Raging Stallion Responds To Michael Lucas Accusations Michael Lucas, a New York pornographer, sent a general letter to the industry today blaming Raging Stallion Studios for a lawsuit between his company and the Fellini estate, the owner of La Dolce Vita. Lucas seems to think that Raging Stallion is somehow behind, or in some way supports, the party suing him for copyright violations. In rather vicious tone he lays the blame for his legal trouble at our feet.
This is our clear, unambiguous, and final statement on these ludicrous charges:
Raging Stallion has never provided any information to any attorneys for the Fellini estate. Raging Stallion has had no contact whatsoever with the Fellini estate or its representatives. Raging Stallion, its partners, and its employees do not even know the name of any attorney for the Fellini estate nor do we know who owns the Fellini estate. We do not know anyone connected in any way with the Fellini estate. We do not know how to contact them, nor do we desire to contact them on this or any other matter. The studio, its representatives, its employees, and its shareholders have never had any contact whatsoever with the Fellini estate on this or on any other matter.
It is our hope that going forward Michael Lucas will keep his ongoing drama to himself and leave us out of it. We have nothing to do with it and all of us are baffled by the mention of our name in connection to this case.
Pretty straight-forward response, I think.
I was at the 2006 GAYVN show where J.D. Slater (Lucas calls him “G.C. Slader” in his letter) threw the ice cube at Lucas when he and his “Dangerous Liaisons” film tied for Best Picture with Chi Chi LaRue’s “Wrong Side of the Tracks.” (And don’t get me started about THAT — I used to run the GAYVN show so don’t think that tie didn’t glare out at me…. But I digress…)
Lucas and LaRue both headed up to the stage and as Lucas was approaching the podium, the light caught something sailing in the air toward him. I don’t think he acknowledged it then, but it was definitely a tense moment. And the audience, a gaggle of queens who just love other people’s drama — myself guiltily included — responded.
Slater later sent out a letter of apology to the industry and to Lucas, stating that he shouldn’t have done it, that he was caught up in the moment, etc. You have to respect J.D. for that — as someone who has been in this industry for 31 years, he understands that if you do wrong, you apologize. If only others would follow his example when they fuck up.
I understand why they’d seem perplexed, as it came from nowhere — and was so public.
But Michael wasn’t about to let Raging Stallion have the last word…
MICHAEL LUCAS’ RESPONSE TO RSS’ RESPONSE
In response to Raging Stallions’ lies:
That is right, Raging Stallion did not contact the Fellini estate. No need for them to, as I never was sued by the Fellini estate. For Christ's sake, I never mentioned anything about the Fellini estate in my email earlier today. This is Raging Stallion's invention in order to find "legitimate" grounds for their lies. Let's make it clear once and for all: I am being sued by International Media Films, the company that claims to own the rights to the Fellini film. And that is the company which Raging Stallion had their communication with. A communication that I have. A communication that at this point is attorney-client privileged only. I promise I will make it public as soon as this pointless law suit is over. And this law suit will be over soon, as the whole mess is heading straight to trail.
Enough bullshit, Raging Stallion, you snitches. Your continuous lying to the entire industry is ridiculous and disrespectful, to say the least. Do you think everyone is that stupid? One thing is when Chris Ward lies that his new movie has real airplane crashes in it, or shit like that, but how naive is it to lie about documents that will be available for everyone to see?
I commiserate with ML in a way because my father passed away 10 years ago from cancer. So I know how precious time is — and I understand that his mother has been ill for a while, so I see his frustrations. Maybe this is his way of dealing with the pain, by making other people feel as miserable as he does. It’s not easy to watch a parent dying of cancer. Especially if you’re close to them. So I pass along my condolences to him and his family — this is not an easy time.
But is that grief the catalyst for such a rant?
In the end, it all comes down to who you believe. A classic case of “He said, He said.”
Has Michael Lucas cried wolf one too many times? Is Raging Stallion really an evil conglomerate poised to take over the gay porn world? Who is the father of Chantal’s baby? Will Luke and Laura stop the evil Mikkos from destroying Port Charles with his evil Death Ray?
Tune in next week, for the continuing drama….
In all seriousness, I do hope that Lucas and Raging Stallion clear this up — to quote the inimitable Rodney King: “Can’t we all just get along?”
I hope so — I’m getting too old for all this….