Industry Debates Lucas, Corrigan War of Words

JC Adams
CYBERSPACE — The gay adult industry is abuzz over a war of words between Brent Corrigan and Michael Lucas, both gay adult performers, directors and company presidents, whose confrontation during a GAYVN Awards afterparty in San Francisco this past weekend has sparked a cyberspace debate with issues ranging from the efficacy of publicity stunts to child pornography.

Corrigan and Lucas were both nominees. Lucas was inducted into the GAYVN Hall of Fame and his company, Lucas Entertainment picked up a pair of trophies; Corrigan earned a Best Bottom citation and his label, Prodigy Pictures, also won two awards.

During the ceremony, San Francisco City Supervisor Bevan Dufty presented a commendation to Joan Irvine of the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP.org).

Irvine gave a brief speech during which she thanked the gay adult industry for its advocacy in combating child pornography.

As Irvine left the stage, Lucas, who has been seated nearby, rushed to the open microphone. He denounced Corrigan and upbraided the GAYVN judges who nominated him. Lucas said Corrigan's controversial past as an underage model, and his continued employment in the adult field, sets an unwelcome precedent.

Reaction from the crowd, apart from general confusion at the spontaneous denunciation, was mixed.

Some hours later, during the official GAYVN Awards afterparty, a confrontation occurred between Lucas and Corrigan's boyfriend, Paul. Threats of physical harm were allegedly issued, leading Lucas to file a complaint with the police. Later that morning, officers located Corrigan and his partner in their hotel and briefly handcuffed Corrigan's partner while the two were questioned and they gave their statements.

At post time, the San Francisco District Attorney's office has yet to file formal charges.

The incident has occupied gossip and gay adult websites for several days. Both Lucas and Corrigan have issued public statements via their respective blogs.

Following the awards show, Irvine said she was unaware of Lucas' denunciation.

Today, she issued a statement through ASACP.

"I appreciate Michael Lucas' concern for ASACP and the industry that he expressed during the GAYVN Awards show," Irvine told XBIZ. "Michael demonstrated the industry's outrage when an underage actor slips into legitimate adult movies as this threatens the industry and shows a disregard for ASACP and the industry’s child protection efforts."

"In September 2005 when ASACP was alerted that Brent Corrigan was supposedly 17 while performing in four movies, it researched this and quickly informed the industry about the offending movies," she said. "All titles and promotional materials were immediately removed from circulation and distribution, both online and offline."

"This was a wakeup call back then and should be a warning to the industry about the importance of being vigilant to obtain the proper documentation for 2257 requirements and to check on questionable documents. Brent is now over 18 and has the right to engage in whatever legal business he chooses."

Corrigan had been scheduled to present the first award of the evening with performer Kaden Saylor. He attended an earlier tech rehearsal without incident, but that night was approached on the red carpet outside the venue and informed that he had been pulled from the show.

However, he and Saylor were nevertheless called to the stage to give out the award, and they complied.

"That's why I said on the stage, 'Someone didn't get the memo.' Kaden was so nervous and I didn't want him going up alone, it wouldn't have made sense," Corrigan told XBIZ.

About his past as an underage performer, Corrigan said he has tried to make amends.

"I've done everything I can to set it straight. I've issued numerous apologies in every venue that would talk to me. I've done everything I can to apologize. And now, five years later, on the red carpet, they're telling me I can't present because of my past."

Corrigan doesn't know what prompted producers to have him pulled as a presenter, and said he was "devastated" by the news.

"I've never felt that way in my life. To be so excited and about something and to feel forgiven, and then to have it taken away — I just wanted to leave."

Lucas said the continued presence of Corrigan in the adult industry reflects poorly on producers and content providers and damages their ability to screen out underage performers.

"I want to stress that the reason I am coming down hard on the industry reporters rooting for Corrigan, and judges embracing and celebrating him, is that his claim to fame is that he was involved in child pornography," Lucas told XBIZ. "This made him a name and instead of being disgusted they are mesmerized by it. That is revolting."

"There are so many other twinks who are just as good or better but have not been involved in such a horrific scandal to get their names out there," Lucas said. "And this made me say that those judges are as responsible and as sleazy as Corrigan and his pedophile fans. I don't care that if because of this statement I may never be nominated or awarded again. My strong conviction for this cause is more important than my publicity."

Both Lucas and Corrigan offer differing accounts of their confrontation at the GAYVN Awards afterparty. Corrigan maintains it was Lucas who provoked the scuffle, while Lucas told XBIZ it was Corrigan's boyfriend who started the argument.

Corrigan told XBIZ that he explained everything to police officers as he was being questioned in his hotel room. He believes Lucas' enmity stems from Corrigan turning down an opportunity to appear in Lucas Entertainment's "Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita" several years ago.

"Michael Lucas wanted to use the publicity and controversy of my name to push ['La Dolce Vita']," Corrigan said. "When I refused to come in to work for pennies, he became resentful. He was clearly unhappy that I would not allow myself to be manipulated and exploited for his personal gain. Why would he admit to such truths, though?"

Corrigan was "humiliated" by having to speak to police in his hotel room.

"During the questioning, I saw Michael out in the hallway gloating, with a terrible look on his face,” Corrigan said. “It's pretty clear this was a stunt designed to dehumanize and embarrass and inconvenience us."

He said a mixed reaction from the GAYVN Awards crowd to Lucas' denunciation prompted him to "step it up a notch.”

“People may agree with the points he was making, but it's clear this was a completely transparent publicity stunt,” Corrigan said. “He doesn't give up."

Lucas confirmed to XBIZ that he and his husband, Richard, were present in the hallway Corrigan and his partner were being questioned by police. However, he denied having gloated and explained that officers had asked him and Richard merely to identify Corrigan and his partner as those who were involved in the afterparty confrontation.

In a statement released to the press, Lucas denies having been motivated by publicity.

"For me, there are moments in life when keeping silent becomes a fault and when speaking becomes an obligation,” Lucas said. “I hold the conviction that we need to protect our industry and our youths; it is a civil duty, a moral challenge, an imperative task from which we cannot escape."

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