LOS ANGELES — John Stagliano and Belladonna received one of the adult industry’s highest honors on Thursday evening as both were inducted into the Hustler Walk of Fame on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. (video)
Dozens of adult entertainment luminaries crowded into the flagship Hustler Hollywood retail store to watch Larry Flynt preside over the hand-print ceremony for two of adult’s most accomplished figures.
Stagliano, also known worldwide as “Buttman,” made his mark as a pioneering force in the gonzo porn genre and in so doing built one of the strongest brands in porn today, Evil Angel Video, the company he founded 23 years ago. He further cemented his place in history when he overcame a federal obscenity prosecution that generated nationwide attention in 2010.
Stagliano had faced more than 30 years in prison and millions in fines after being indicted in 2008 on obscenity charges based on Evil Angel’s distribution of two DVDs and a movie trailer that the government alleged was obscene. All the charges ultimately were dropped.
Flynt introduced Stagliano as “an unusual candidate” who studied economics at UCLA and has more than 200 credits as a producer, director and actor.
“He’s also a libertarian and a political scholar who won an extremely important First Amendment case in D.C.,” Flynt noted. “… He’s always done quality work, always put everything into it and always dedicated his life to the art form.”
Before placing his hands into the cement, Stagliano said humbly, “It’s an honor to be here with Larry Flynt who’s fought far more and worse legal battles than I have.”
Belladonna, in her 12th year as one of porn’s elite performer/directors, became the youngest person enshrined on the Walk of Fame at age 30. She also has the distinction of becoming the first female director at Evil Angel in 2003, when she released “Evil Pink.” Now the owner of Belladonna Entertainment has amassed more than 80 titles as a producer/director and 300-plus as a performer.
Flynt joked that she was “a woman after my own heart, because she likes the bush,” drawing laughter from the crowd.
Belladonna seemed almost overwhelmed by the moment as she addressed the group. “I just want to say thank you,” she said, holding back tears. “I really am so shocked. I feel very grateful. I never dreamed this would ever happen.”
Hustler Hollywood, which recently underwent a facelift that was unveiled last month, left nothing to chance with the induction ceremony, which was the store’s first one in four-and-a-half years. The staff created an elaborate display of Stagliano- and Belladonna-themed products that included Buttman magazines, Belladonna toys and an assortment of Evil Angel movies such as Stagliano’s epic “Fashionistas” trilogy in which Belladonna also starred.
Guests enjoyed complimentary champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries as the honorees signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans and friends. Fellow Hustler Walk of Fame members Sunset Thomas, Eric Edwards and Bill Margold joined Flynt, Stagliano and Belladonna and Theresa Flynt in a classic photo opp. Thomas and husband Kent Wallace made the trip to L.A. from their home in Las Vegas just for the event.
“They haven’t done this in five years and it’s such a great honor,” Thomas told XBIZ. “That’s why we drove out here special for it today to show our support. I adore Larry.”
Stagliano’s wife Karen arrived just in time for the ceremony, telling XBIZ, “I think it’s great that John and Belladonna get to experience this on the same night. They really are a perfect fit together with John’s history and Belladonna kind of moving things forward among the females in the industry.”
Several industry personalities came out to show their support, including directors Jules Jordan and Van Styles, performer Mr. Marcus, Hustler executives Michael Klein, Theresa and Liz Flynt and Larry's legal counsel for the past 35 years, Paul Cambria. National media outlets such as Reuters TV also covered the induction.
Christian Mann, the general manager of Evil Angel, told XBIZ, “The amount of media that came out and the obvious amount of preparation the staff at Hustler puts into this really make it a big event.”
Mann continued, “Obviously, it’s a double win for us to have both John Stagliano and Belladonna honored on the same night. And knowing the affection and friendship that Larry and John have for each other, it seems fitting. Larry and John are kindred spirits. John is an entrepreneur, a man of integrity, who puts his money where his mouth is, a freedom fighter and a porn lover.”
For a photo gallery of the event, see the On the Scene section of XBIZ.com.